Recycling Tracker Report

The Recycling Tracker is an annual survey of UK households that gathers evidence on recycling attitudes, knowledge and behaviour. It is the largest and longest running of its kind. A total of 5,452 interviews were undertaken in March 2019.

The analysis compares respondents’ self-reported recycling behaviour to the known kerbside service provision in their area (using a database of Local Authority schemes maintained by WRAP). This enables householders’ behaviour to be understood in the context of their local service.

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Key findings

The results in 2019 demonstrate a series of changes in the past year. 

  • Three in five (60%) households report additional recycling of one or more items in the past year (either an item they were not previously recycling or one they are now recycling more often or more consistently).
  •  There has been a significant increase in Recycle Now brand recognition - three quarters (75%) of UK households have seen the Recycling ‘Swoosh’ (45% in 2018); and over half (53%) have seen on-pack recycling labelling (43% in 2018). 
  •  When the Recycle Now brand is seen there is a positive association with reported behaviour change (particularly the recently launched ‘Britain Recycles’ and ‘Britain Does’ social norm messaging)
  •  Three in five (60%) UK households perceive a positive social norm around recycling. Social norms are strongly associated with recycling behaviour - those who perceive a positive social norm dispose of fewer items incorrectly.
  • However, just over four in five (82%) UK households recycle one or more items kerbside that is not accepted locally. This is an increase from previous years (76% in both 2017 and 2018). This suggests that some of the increased recycling reported in the past year is not targeted by the local collection scheme

Previous reports:

2018 Recycling Tracker report

2017 Recycling Tracker report

2016 Recycling Tracker report

2015 3R (recycling, reuse and repair) report

2014 3R (recycling, reuse and repair) report