Lockdown Green-up: Food waste down and recycling rates up in the UK

Enforced lockdown has made UK residents take a greener approach to how they deal with their rubbish by being better at recycling, new research has found.

According to UK-based waste collection company Business Waste, recycling rates have skyrocketed during the lockdown period, and less food being thrown away.

Research by Business Waste found the amount of recycling being processed in the UK has increased overall by 30%, with a 70% increase in the number of tins and cans processed, a 20% increase in glass recycling in April, and an 80% increase in plastic recycling in May.

But it’s not just the volume of recycling being processed, Business Waste employees have been impressed with the quality of the items too, with reports of people making the effort to wash their recyclable items properly before binning them – which makes the recycling process much quicker and easier.

Business Waste spokesman Mark Hall said: “It seems as if people have used this extra time to be more considerate with how they dispose of their waste, and being more appreciative of using up all of their food due to the scarcity of supermarket delivery slots.

“It’s great to see that people are managing to keep on top on recycling during these tricky times – it really has to be applauded!”

With people having more time on their hands, household waste recycling centres have been more popular than ever, which in turn has created an influx of recyclable goods.

Although local recycling centres were closed at the end of March, many tips are reporting that since reopening in May they have been operating at ‘post-Christmas levels’ due to the high demand.

Business Waste spokesman Mark Hall added: “It’s a shame it took the shake-up of a global pandemic for people to change their waste habits, but it’s still brilliant news and we hope to see these behaviours become the new normal.”

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. 

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