The average British consumer will receive 242 plastic bottles, 109 disposable coffee cups and 209 fresh packages every year.
Research from 2,000 UK adults has revealed that the typical person’s annual waste waste also includes 378 snack wraps, 251 cans and 374 cardboard boxes or paper packages every year.
We will collectively remove 468 million spray bottles from cleaning products and 520 million shampoo bottles every year.
It also emerged that 83% are unclear which of these items can and cannot be recycled.
As a result, the average Briton admits to throwing around 30% of his recyclable items into general waste.
This potentially costs the economy more than £ 95 million a year, as recyclable materials, which otherwise could have been sold to producers and generate money for the economy, end up in landfills or are incinerated.
Stefano Rossi, CEO of packaging at DS Smith, who commissioned the research, said: “There is an undeniable desire on the part of the public to help with the climate crisis.
“But a lot of packaging is still not recyclable and people are confused as to which packaging goes into which basket.”
The study also found that when unsure of whether a package can be recycled, more than four out of 10 (44 percent) prefer to “play it safely” and put it in the waste bin.
As many as 56% confessed to throwing things away with general waste despite believing it could be recycled, with 32% of these blamed unclear labels.
DS Smith experts estimate that this could result in the dumping of 2.6 million tons of recyclable materials every year.
At the other end of the spectrum are the “cyclists of desires”: 30% of the people who, faced with the uncertainty that their boxes, bottles and containers can be recycled, have put them in the trash and hope for the better.
But 51% also admitted putting things in green waste that cannot be recycled, with 44% of those not knowing where else it should go.
And 21% hope collectors put it in the right bin for them.
More than a third (37%) even put something in the trash that still contains food and drinks, which will contaminate recycling.
But some of these habits could be attributed to laziness, since 16% wasted waste on recycling simply because it was easier.
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More than a quarter (27%) did the same because they paid no attention, while 19% rarely or never checked labels before choosing what to do with old packaging.
The study also found that over half of all respondents, through OnePoll, said information on packaging recycling is unclear (56%) and 32% said there was no clear recycling label. to follow.
In addition, 21% are uncertain about the recycling rules they live in, with 23% admitting they don’t know which recycling bins to put the trash in the first place.
DS Smith announced its “Circular Design Principles” to help companies incorporate reuse and recyclability into their packaging so that it becomes easier for customers to become part of a circular economy.
The principles were developed in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a world leader in circular economy thinking.
Stefano Rossi added: “We launched our circular design principles to help companies evolve to meet the needs of the public.
“By introducing this set of principles, we can design for recyclability, design waste and pollution, create packaging suitable for a circular economy and simplify the supply of labels to help consumers recycle more.”
Average annual waste for a Briton:
- Junk mail / spam – 349
- Magazines / newspapers – 214
- Disposable coffee cups – 109
- Plastic bottles – 242
- Beverage boxes / Tetra Pak for juice / milk – 195
- Crunchy aluminum packages – 209
- Plastic yogurt / pudding trays – 241
- Beverage cans – 251
- Glass bottles / jars – 215
- Cardboard packaging – 374
- Corrugated cardboard packaging / larger cardboard boxes – 260
- Snack wrapper – 378
- Plastic trays for things like meat, vegetables, fruit baskets, tray of biscuits – 317
- Wrapping plastic around things like meat, fruit, vegetables – 358 Cleaning clothes / sponges – 10
- Spray bottles for cleaning products – 9
- Shampoo / conditioner bottles – 10
- Soap bottles for body washing – 9
- Cardboard tubes – 20
- Toothpaste tubes – 9
- Toothbrushes – 6