Third of Brits believe recycling is a scam that propagates climate change 'myth'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Environment and also in Communities
Third of Brits believe recycling is a 'scam' that propagates climate change 'myth'Image: Recycling via Shutterstock
A growing number of Brits believe that recycling is a scam that only serves to propagate the 'myth' of climate change.
A waste management company found that a third of Brits refuse to accept that man-made climate change is real - with the result that the country is struggling to reach its recycling targets.
According to BusinessWaste.co.uk, the attitude is common both domestically and among British business.
"We hear the same question time and again: 'Why should we recycle? It's a rip-off'" said BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall. "And it's most disappointing when it comes to leaders of well-respected companies."
According to figures compiled on behalf of BusinessWaste.co.uk:
• 32% of householders said they don't believe recycling helps.
• Of this 32%, half (48%) recycled anyway to keep out of trouble from local council inspectors.
• 29% of company directors said they didn't think recycling their waste was economically viable.
• Of this 29%, more than half recycled anyway (62%) to comply with regulations.
One of the arguments frequently heard from business leaders was that the cost of recycling waste did not balance against the economic benefits.
"Directors of some companies tell us that the staff costs relating to their waste policy outweighs the money saved from cutting their landfill tax and waste removal fees," said Mr Hall. "If that's the case, they're probably doing it wrong."
Equally worrying are the millions who don't recycle their household refuse, either because they think it's a waste of time, or because they're too lazy.
Typical of this attitude was Kym from Hampshire, who told researchers: "We've got two bins, but I put the same in both. Who cares? It's a waste of time and effort and I've never been caught."
Steve from Great Yarmouth told BusinessWaste.co.uk: "I can't be bothered – it's just a scam foisted on us by Brussels. I take my empties to the bottle bank, but that's as far as it goes."
"Unfortunately, all these people don't realise that recycling has genuine reasons," said Mr Hall. "The trouble is, people would rather listen to politicians with an agenda than the accepted science."
A study earlier this year showed that 99% of all peer-reviewed scientific papers on climate change showed that the phenomenon is man-made; while government figures show that while UK recycling rates have stalled, landfill sites across the country are either full or have only space for a few more years.
Mr Hall said: "Our landfill sites are bursting at the seams and contribute to long-term pollution and contamination of ground water. Recycled waste has the potential to save British industry millions in raw material costs. But still some people won't listen.
"It's clear that recycling is not a scam or a trick. The real problem now is convincing the refuseniks who think they know better."