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Monday 19 March 2018

We're getting greener at home but still failing to recycle at work

Paul Melia

WORKERS refuse to transfer their good recycling habits from the home into the office.

A new survey shows that almost half of office staff don't recycle in the workplace, despite carefully separating their waste at home and making us one of the best recycling nations in the EU.

Packaging group Repak said yesterday that the Irish people showed a split personality between their domestic and working habits, with 54pc refusing to recycle waste in the office kitchen compared to just 2pc at home.

This is because one in three believes it's not their responsibility to help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, resulting in falling recycling rates.

"More needs to be done to encourage people to recycle in the workplace," Repak chief executive Dr Andrew Hetherington said.

"It is ironic that while most people recycle at home, they unintentionally abdicate responsibility in the work place. It is almost as if the work/life balance has split their recycling personality.

"Companies can do more to encourage people to recycle more, by educating them and showing them that it is their responsibility in the workplace, while helping to reduce their waste costs."

The research, carried out in advance of Repak recycling week, which begins today, also shows:

•Recycling rates in the office kitchen/canteen fell to just 46pc this year, down from 53pc.

•Workers also refused to recycle plastic drinks bottles, with just 41pc saying they made an effort, while most empty drinks cans are thrown in the bin.

•The amount of paper being recycled has also fallen, down fall from 53pc in 2010 to 46pc this year.

The research from MRBI also shows that 51pc of office workers find the poor recycling habits of their colleagues a source of major irritation. However, just one in three will confront a co-worker about their bad habits.

The poor workplace figures compare with home recycling. Half of all bathroom waste is recycled, while almost half of all households have access to brown bins, which allows them to dispose of kitchen waste.

Repak has also launched a new iPhone app which allows people to search for their nearest recycling facility.

Further details are available at www. or

Irish Independent

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