New survey finds that 18-24-year-olds don’t understand recycling


PlasticsEurope and RECOUP have launched a new survey that has revealed that there is a lack of understanding about recycling within the 18-24-year-old age group.   

The survey included over 4,100 participants from the UK, Germany and Poland, and found that less than one in three young people recycle plastics, with 29% recycling in the UK, 24% in Germany and 18% in Poland.  


Both organisations observed the average population, and discovered that only 35% of consumers recycle all plastics after using them in Poland, compared to 45% in the UK and 51% in Germany. 

According to the survey, the main reason for these figures is that people are confused about what types of plastics can be recycled. 

When asked about what plastic waste system consumers are more likely to accept, most citizens from the three countries said that they prefer recycling over landfilling and energy recovery (UK 93%, Germany 95% and Poland 94%). 

It also found that 82% UK citizens are hesitant about sending plastics to landfill, compared to the 70% in Germany and 74% in Poland. 

Although the survey found that over half of consumers in each country are interested to learn more about what happens to plastics once they are collected, they are not willing to pay more to produce resource efficient products (43% in the UK, 28% in Germany and 30% in Poland).  

PlasticsEurope North Region director Kim Christiansen said: This research recognises the need of increased engagement with consumers. Plastics waste is a valuable resource and should be considered as such, under no circumstances should plastics be landfilled. This is why, PlasticsEurope will continue its engagement in the UK, notably by organising the IdentiPlast conference on waste management in London during the first quarter of 2019.”