Age matters in recycling, according to EU survey

An EU-wide survey has revealed disparity in the awareness of the importance of recycling between the younger and older generations.

The survey, commissioned by Friends of Glass, involved 8,000 European consumers in 11 countries. It reports that whilst 94 per cent of European consumers recycle their household packaging material, the younger generations (18-29 year olds) are less aware of the importance of recycling food and drink packaging than the 60+ age group.

An impressive 96.4 per cent of younger Britons claimed to recycle, but only 31.4 per cent thought that glass was the most environmentally-friendly food and drink packaging material, and just over 50 per cent of 18-29 year olds in the UK knew that glass could be recycled infinitely compared with 77 per cent of 50-59 year olds.

The survey also claims that glass was the preferred packaging choice for most countries taking part and 9 out of the 11 countries recycle 6-20 glass items on average in a month. In Switzerland, almost all people claim to recycle glass (93 per cent), followed by Italy (91 per cent) and Germany (89 per cent).

Speaking on behalf of Friends of Glass, President of FEVE, Vitaliano Torno said, “Nowadays, younger people lead busier lives. We know that their recycling efforts can have a positive impact on the planet their children will inherit. Millennials can make a proactive start now by adopting a more sustainable lifestyle, but also by choosing to use, and recycle, more glass. As the industry body for European Glass Packaging, we are more than aware that a lot needs to be done to better inform and engage a younger generation, hence our continued investment in Friends of Glass.”

You can read the full results by visiting the Friends of Glass website.

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