Students Improve Recycling On the Go Following Independent University Report

Findings were published today following an independent report by UK Students regarding recycling and the environment. Young Academic has learnt that the report, called ‘Recycling on the Go – A Youth Perspective’, has reiterated that reminding people of their eco-responsibilities could help improve people’s efforts from the home.

Universal and easy to understand symbols should be used as well as distinctive recycling bins to help students and other young people recycle more often, the reports has also found.

“As a charity, Keep Britain Tidy wants to change behaviour so that people see packaging as a valuable resource; something that should not be littered and should be recycled wherever possible.”


Today’s demographic of young academics and citizens are the largest consumers of on the go packaging by a country mile and as such, more effort is needed to by everyone to increase the amount that we recycle. Can makers, manufacturers and of course students themselves need to collaborate and combat this worrying issue.

The research also outlined the fact that there are major inconsistencies present in recycling facilities, symbols and procedures that mean that it is not always easy to recycling on the go packaging. A staggering 88% of people surveyed during the project said that they would recycle more if the facilities were readily available. A clear message is also necessary as only 25% of UK students believe that their recycled products actually go towards new resources.

‘Recycling on the Go – A Youth Perspective’ has concluded that three short term steps are needed to immediately combat this problem. These steps are at the stages of PURCHASE, CONSUMPTION and DISCARD. Major events such as sport and music have been outlined as possible opportunities to start to drive this message home and increase on the go recycling considerably. On a longer term basis, schools, colleges and universities are going to have a key role to play in education the young academics of today and tomorrow.

Adam Cooley is representative for Oxford Brookes University and had the following to say on the issue; “This has been a great opportunity to take a fresh look at the recycling challenge.  So often young people are criticised as being the root of the problem, but we are never given a voice to suggest our solutions.  Some things, like singular messaging and an increase in the number of standard recycling bins just jumped out as obvious things to do.”

“I have to say it has been a pleasure working with such an enthusiastic and constructive group,” said Geoff Courtney, chairman of the Can Makers.  “We hope this report contributes to increasing “on the go” rates in the near future and the Can Makers will be raising issues highlighted in the report with relevant industry bodies with a view to helping to increase “on the go” recycling rates amongst Britain’s young people .”

The report does represent the views of the students that undertook the project and not The Can Makers (the industry body that represents UK manufacturers of cans) but they are supportive of future efforts.

Phil Barton, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, also added to the debate; “As a charity, Keep Britain Tidy wants to change behaviour so that people see packaging as a valuable resource; something that should not be littered and should be recycled wherever possible.

“We look forward to working with the Can Makers and others to take forward many of the recommendations in the report, encouraging everyone – young or old – to Love Where You Live.”

To keep up to date with this highly important student news issue or any of the other features on Young Academic, make sure your follow our tweets @youngacademic, RSS Feed and Facebook Page.


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