ESA and BPF launch plastic recycling awareness campaign

plastic waste

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) and British Plastics Federation (BPF) have launched a campaign to educate the public about plastic recycling.

A national survey, commissioned by the ESA and BPF, found that 94% of UK adults claim to recycle plastic at least most of the time, however, the two organisations said that national recycling rates show this is not the reality.

The survey showed that 60% of adults claimed to “always” recycle plastic, with 34% stating they “usually” do, while 61% expressed confidence that their recycled plastic gets processed correctly. However, the ESA and BPF said “stagnant national recycling performance figures” don’t align with these high self-reported rates.

Households with young children (0-10 years old) were less likely to “always” recycle (less than 40%) and 70% of respondents said they would recycle more plastics if they were better informed on which plastics can be recycled at home, the survey showed.

The study combined national polling and qualitative interviews to uncover the truth about plastic recycling habits in the UK as part of a pilot campaign to change consumer attitudes, the ESA and BPF said.

To address the discrepancy, the ESA and BPF launched to increase consumer confidence in recycling by utilising online influencers and social media content.

By demystifying the process, we hope to show that recycling isn’t just a black hole or wishful thinking.

The campaign aims to highlight the “valuable role of plastics in the circular economy, bust myths” and encourage the general public to prioritise plastic recycling.

The ESA and BPF said the campaign will target the “Usually recycle” group, which they said comprises younger adults and parents with kids aged 0-10, who expressed a willingness to recycle but faced time constraints. This group shop in supermarkets, actively use social media, and enjoys various activities, the organisations said.

The campaign is also targeting messaging at the “Always recycle” group, which the organisations said is mainly female and older and is typically found in Wales and the South-West. The ESA and BPF said this group are committed to recycling, avoiding plastic, and engage in socially conscious activities, and they actively seek more information.

In the first 12 weeks from its launch, the two organisations said received 12,641 unique visitors. During the same period on Facebook, posts achieved 226,500 impressions with 2,798 engagements (likes, comments and shares).

The campaign also took six Instagram micro-influencers, who were selected due to their similarities with and appeal to the target audiences, to a materials recycling facility where they filmed how plastic waste is collected and sorted for onward processing.

Jacob Hayler, Executive Director of The Environmental Services Association commented: “The campaign has been launched to remind everyone of the incredible continued benefits of recycling plastics.

“We want to explain which plastics can be easily recycled at home and which may need to be taken to other facilities, but also take consumers on a journey to see what happens to plastic once it’s collected. By demystifying the process, we hope to show that recycling isn’t just a black hole or wishful thinking – it’s a thriving industry and a vital part of solving the world’s environmental challenges.”

The post ESA and BPF launch plastic recycling awareness campaign appeared first on Circular Online.

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