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Selling to a Sceptical Public

03 October 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970

People with a negative view of recycling are more likely to change their attitude after seeing positive messages about the benefits. This is the main finding of recycling research, commissioned by PR agency Ceris Burns International and undertaken by Mindlab International.

Results from the independent study also showed that there is still a marked indifference towards recycling at work. A large number of the respondents admitted not bothering if recycling facilities are absent on site. Many also said that confusion still reigns when it comes to being sure about what items can and cannot be recycled – at home or at work.

Practical steps based on the results – which revealed a marked need for clear and concise communications campaigns to help increase recycling rates – are outlined in a best practice guide, launched by Ceris Burns International. The guide recommends a range of tactics and tips, including recruiting recycling champions at work; running focus groups and consultation exercises; taking the ‘less is more’ approach and using a mix of ‘traditional’ and ‘hi-tech’ communication methods.


The key findings of the independent survey were:

  • People subconsciously think recycling is more important after viewing positive messages.
  • 44% probably wouldn’t make the effort to take their recycling elsewhere if they didn’t have facilities at work
  • Just over half of the respondents would encourage work colleagues to recycle.
  • Recycling facilities at work are high but could be increased – 78% of respondents said they had recycling bins.
  • 52% are confused about what they can and cannot recycle.
  • 69% of respondents preferred leaflets as the main method of receiving information about recycling services.
  • Only half of respondents avoid buying products with excessive packaging.

Two hundred people completed an online test that consisted of questions regarding their current recycling behaviour and attitudes to recycling. The test group included a wide range of ages and professions, located across England, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.


Picture: People are still unsure about the merits of recycling and need encouragement and information on it

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 03 October 2014


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