Thought leadership

An overwhelming number of British companies are failing to recycle efficiently, according to new research.

The survey of 1,055 British workers carried out by, found that 73% do not recycle their waste materials in their place of work, compared to 22% who do not at home.

While almost two thirds (65%) claim they would make a conscious effort to recycle if their employer had an incentive, just 19% say they do recycle at work.

8% of UK workers do not know whether their company has a recycling system in place.

When quizzed on the waste management scheme at their place of work, more than half (53%) say they believe their company does not recycle due to inadequate recycling facilities in the area, while 29% believe it’s down to cost.

Surprisingly, almost 1 in 5 (18%) of those surveyed say they do not recycle in the workplace because it falls outside of their remit.

The data revealed those who work in financial services are the least likely to recycle at work (13%), followed by those who work in IT and communications (14%).

Mark Dunne, Director and Head of Operations at commented: “It’s really quite shocking to see how few UK businesses have a recycling scheme in place.

“While it’s encouraging that councils have brought in strict recycling regulations for households in the UK, this is not being reflected in the workplace as so many British workers do not recycle.

“There are often costs associated with recycling for businesses, but if employers feel passionate about the cause, they could take up with their HR department, or introduce a scheme whereby they share the responsibility among colleagues.”

The UK’s least green industries:

  1. Financial services (e.g. banking, insurance etc.) – 13%
  2. Information and communications – 14%
  3. Manufacturing – 16%
  4. Transportation – 17%
  5. Education – 18%
  6. Professional services (e.g. law, accountancy etc.) – 19%
  7. Retail – 19%
  8. Trades (e.g. construction, plumbing etc.) – 19%
  9. Utilities – 20%
  10. Leisure and travel (e.g. restaurants, parks etc.) – 21%

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