Going green: recycling in the city

London views and attitudes on recycling

City views on recycling

The top three issues facing Londoners were not particular surprising: housing (57%), immigration (40%) and health / NHS (40%). The environment (in terms of protection and preservation), was selected as one of the most important issues to them by only 12% of Londoners.

This would suggest that recycling is not a big issue for many Londoners, despite growing fears of global warming. However, recycling behaviour actually appears to be fairly common around the city, with three in five (58%) Londoners claiming to recycle everything that can be recycled. Only 9% saying that they barely recycle and hardy any (2%) said that they do not recycle at all.

Londoners were then asked to say whether they put the following ‘recyclable’ items in a general bin or a recycling bin:

Items that Londoners recycle

City behaviours on recycling

Drinks cans, glass bottles and cardboard boxes are the only items that tend to almost all put in a recycling bin, with food items (scraps from plates, off-food and tea bags) being the least likely to be recycled.

However, more encouragingly there are several measures that most Londoners do to reduce their carbon footprint including turning off the lights behind them and not leaving taps running:

 

The future and improvements to recycling

Three fifths (59%) of Londoners currently feel embarrassed by how much litter is on the streets of the capital, and 36% say they do not feel proud of the city because they feel Londoners as a whole do not look after it. However, there appears to be some optimism, as Londoners think the following can be done to improve the environment and carbon footprint of the city:

• 29% think that fines should be issued for people that drop gum or litter in the street
• 29% want more recycle bins
• 14% would ban cars from central London
• 12% would reduce the amount of litter caused by free newspapers

The COP21 conference is looking to reduce our carbon footprint even further, and to make our key cities more environmentally friendly. In light of this, if London were more environmentally friendly, 62% of Londoners say they would indeed be more proud.

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,002 Londoners from the 14th 24th September 2015.