A new report by Nespresso on consumer attitudes to recycling has been released to identify opportunities to close the gap between official and self-reported recycling rates.

The results found that despite 98% of Brits having high intentions to recycle and 70% claiming to recycle every day, official statistics highlight a gap between intention and reality with only 44% of waste being recycled across the UK.

In order to help consumers to meet their aspirational goals, it’s important to look at what can be done to help increase recycling rates. The report identified consumer recycling confusion, highlighting a need for better communication and simplification of the process, as two in five (39%) consumers state that they’re unaware of what can or can’t be recycled, and a third (33%) are unaware of which items have to be separated.

The research identified a number of additional factors that will help UK residents to recycle more, including more bins being provided (27%) and increased frequency of collections from home (27%).

Nespresso – which has been investing in its dedicated UK and Ireland recycling schemes for almost 10 years – commissioned the report to help understand what needs to be done to help consumers recycle more. Nespresso capsules are made from aluminium, which not only maintains the freshness of the coffee but has the dual benefit of being infinitely recyclable, a fact which is not widely understood.

Francisco Nogueira, Managing Director, Nespresso UK and Ireland comments: “When it comes to recycling, consumer participation is vital. Nespresso’s Consumer Attitudes to Recycling Report shows that people in the UK want to do their part - but they don’t necessarily know how. Consumers need clear and comprehensive information and accessible infrastructure to enable them to recycle more.”

“Nespresso is committed to making recycling even simpler, practically effortless. This latest report highlights several opportunities for businesses and governments to help consumers close the gap between attitudes and actions. As this report makes clear, when it comes to recycling, we all have our part to play.”

“Nespresso regularly communicates to its customers about how they can recycle their capsules through our dedicated service, and we strongly encourage them to do so. In addition, we are working with local authorities across the UK to improve municipal collection and sorting schemes, as well as looking at ways to develop our own recycling service even further.”

In an environment of confusing messages about how and what we can recycle, Nespresso is committed to making it easy for customers to recycle its aluminium capsules through its dedicated scheme.

The Nespresso recycling service offers customers a range of options:
- Return used capsules to one of 24 Nespresso boutiques in the UK;
- Take them to one of more than 6,000 Collect+ or Doddle collection points in the UK and 124 Parcel motel locations in the Republic of Ireland;
- Have them collected from their doorstep when they take delivery of a new order

Local authorities were found to be the main source of recycling information for consumers (69%), with half also believing the council is most responsible for recycling (49%). Earlier this month in the UK Nespresso launched a trial to recycle used aluminium coffee capsules through Kensington and Chelsea Council’s collection service. Consumers can leave their used capsules in a Nespresso recycling bag alongside their normal waste which is collected twice weekly by the local council.

The research also revealed that not only does self-reported recycling rate increase with age, confidence and the likelihood of finding recycling an easy process also increases with age, as only 6% of over 55s reporting that they find recycling difficult, compared to 19% of 16-24 year olds. The recycling process within urban areas, that are more likely to be the home of the millennial generation, has been found to be perceived as more difficult, with those living in flats (23%) stating they’re much more likely to find recycling a hard process compared to those in detached homes (7%).

Whilst our intentions to recycle are high, consumers are also environmentally conscious, with 76% claiming that the top reason for recycling is to help the environment and over a quarter of Brits (27%) wish they could recycle more.