Britain Sees the Death of Throw-Away Culture - Climate Week reveals a nation of Regenerators

Research launched to mark the start of Climate Week, Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, identifies the rise of the ‘Re Generation’. Instead of disposing of unwanted items, consumers are choosing to recycle, re-use or re-sell items they no longer want.

The figures reveal an overwhelming reluctance to consign used items to the bin. The Ipsos MORI survey found that 94% do not usually throw away clothes and 96% do not dispose of their old mobiles, with the majority of respondents (65%) recycling, re-selling or giving away their phones. Even when it comes to food, the most disposable of everyday items, there are five million adults in Britain who never throw food away.

Instead of taking the ‘easy way out’ and binning leftover goods, consumers are now trading online, swapping with friends and family or donating to charity as well as using more traditional recycling channels.

Unwanted clothes are predominantly donated to charity (61%) followed by recycling (12%), however, 25-34 year olds are looking for more enterprising options and most likely to sell their unwanted clothes (14%), above the national average of 8%.

Whilst re-selling isn’t an option for food, the research reveals that only 5% of people throw away food on a daily basis, indicating a nation that is highly resourceful when it comes to re-using food and making the most of leftovers. The age group least likely to throw away food are 55-75 year olds, of which only 2% dispose of food on a daily basis.

The findings are reflected in the priorities of Climate Week’s partners. Its Headline Partner, Andrex® Eco, is a toilet roll that is 90% recycled and 10% bamboo, which uses five times less land than trees. Crown Paints encourages people to take unused paint to its decorating centres, Ecotricity generates power from the wind and Shields Environmental helps the telecoms sector re-use old equipment.

Kevin Steele, CEO, Climate Week comments “Our survey clearly shows that people in Britain want to protect the environment and are taking action every day that helps to do so. This picture is confirmed by the half a million people around the UK who are attending events run for Climate Week.”

With 63% of people expressing a desire to help prevent climate change and over half (56%) believing that their actions can make a real difference, the research shows that most people want to take action to protect the planet. It also shows, with 83% of people recycling on most days, that they will do so if given the opportunity.

Climate Week runs from the 4th to the 10th March 2013 with half a million people taking part in over 3,000 events across the country. Activities include Britain’s biggest environmental competition, the Climate Week Challenge, Climate Week Swap events for people to exchange unwanted items as well as the prestigious Climate Week Awards.
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