Young people don’t care about recycling

April 4, 2007 at 11:58 am

A survey carried out by waste management company HIPPOWASTETMshows that older people are better recyclers than the so-called ‘green generation’.

Over half of 16-24 year olds in the UK are not doing any recycling at all. In contrast, over 82% of over 65s claim to be regular recyclers. Overall, around 70% of UK householders now rate themselves as good or excellent recyclers.

A 2001 study conducted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) interviewed more than 3,700 over 18s in England on their attitudes to quality of life and the environment. It revealed that the older the respondent, the more likely they were to participate in recycling, with the most enthusiastic recyclers being aged 65 and over. This age group was also the most likely to make compost out of kitchen waste.

The most common reasons given by 18-24 year olds for not recycling were lack of time or lack of desire. In the HIPPOWASTETM survey, young people said they found it difficult to know what could or could not be recycled.

The Young People’s Trust for the Environment is a charity dedicated to improving young people’s understanding of the environment and the need for sustainability. It provides materials for teachers, parents and young people on environmental issues and how to tackle them.

The Young Greens are keen to encourage more university students to become active recyclers. Their University Recycling Campaign aims to overcome the stereotypical view of students as apathetic layabouts. Suggestions for action include awareness-raising campaigns, setting up recycling schemes and lobbying for better recycling facilities at colleges and universities.

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2 responses to “Young people don’t care about recycling”

  1. Gary Longley says:

    We have just launched our website aimed at educating children on recycling in a fun and easy to use way, including a FREE ENTRY each month in our poem and hints & tips page or why not interact with our questions/comments page.
    Having contacted many organisations, showed prototypes of our books and characters, the response has been fantastic. In the first 3 days of launching the website, we have had near on 500 hits, with positive comments coming back
    Kind regards
    Gary Longley

  2. faiza hussein says:

    I believe that young people should be taught about recycling so they have a better understanding and develop their skills in recycling their waste. They also need to know the general idea behind recycling.