Our kids can teach us a thing or two about recycling claims new poll 

Our kids can teach us a thing or two about recycling claims new poll 

So how well would you fare? 

A new MPMA poll has found that nearly half of parents have been shamed by their own children for, wait for it, bad recycling practises. 

Our survey of 2,000 parents of school-aged children found that 41 per cent believe it’s really their children who drive recycling and sustainability attitudes at home. 

Over half of parents, 56 per cent, claimed to have been reprimanded by their offspring for throwing a pack such as a can in the bin instead of recycling it, and four in 10 have received words for buying items in non-recyclable packaging. And it doesn’t stop there; 35 per cent have been told off at home for not washing out cans or jars properly before putting them out with the recycling. 

The study also found that more than a third of parents believe their children know more about the environment and recycling than they do, but perhaps this is not really so surprising given that many children learn about how to be green at school, and have role models such as Greta Thunberg providing a lead. Still, from a metal packaging point of view, it’s great to see that so many parents are being picked up on things they may not be doing correctly when it comes to recycling – even if it’s by their children!  

The poll also revealed that almost half (45 per cent) of parents are influenced by their children to ‘think green’ when food shopping, and over a half claim they are encouraged  by their offspring to buy items in packaging like cans or cardboard which have more widely understood recycling credentials. 

But despite all this prompting from their children, a fifth of parents still say they’re often confused about what can and can’t go in the green bin. For example, despite nine in 10 people knowing that tin cans can be recycled, nearly a quarter still had no idea that this extends to empty metal paint cans, albeit at recycling centres. 

But I suspect that many know more than they let on about can recycling as over eighty per cent are aware that cans don’t have to be crushed, and three quarters know that paper labels do not need to be removed before putting the cans into the recycling. 

Rather more worrying is that a half went on to admit that they sometimes throw recyclable items out with the rubbish because it is easier than double checking to see if it can be recycled or not. Further, 46 per cent have binned a can because they couldn’t be bothered to wash it out, even though four in 10 are well aware that while washing a can is desirable, it is not actually essential to the recycling process as residue waste does not cause a problem when metal is recycled. 

So how much do you know about can recycling? If you’re now wondering how you’d fare against the kids on your recycling knowledge, have a go at our quick quiz here to find out: 




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