WRAP’s recycling tracker provides insights into UK citizen’s attitudes towards recycling as well as a greater understanding of their recycling related behaviours. It is an annual survey of UK citizens that gathers evidence on recycling attitudes, knowledge, and behaviour. It is the largest and longest running of its kind, having been undertaken by WRAP since 2004.

Fieldwork was undertaken online in October 2021. A total of 4,330 interviews were undertaken with UK adults with the responsibility for dealing with the rubbish and recycling in the home.

The tracker results demonstrate a number of key findings about recycling behaviour:

  • Recycling is a normalised behaviour - 85% of UK citizens regularly recycle.
  • Over half (57%) miss opportunities to recycle items from home.
  • Almost nine in ten (87%) dispose of an item in the recycling that is not accepted.
  • Contamination has increased since the pandemic. 
  • Overall, UK citizens dispose of 6.2 items incorrectly on average.

The tracker continues to demonstrate the influence of recycling service design, with fewer items being disposed of incorrectly by households with lower effective weekly residual waste capacity, food waste collections and multi-stream schemes. However, this wave goes further in exploring the relationship between recycling performance, on the one hand, and satisfaction with services on the other.

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  • Recycling Tracker Report Winter 2021.pdf

    PDF, 1.42 MB