Sustainability Victoria’s recent social research project into household recycling raised a number of questions about the types of messaging required to hit the right targets for maximum recycling benefit.
The 2014 project was commissioned to “determine community attitudes towards waste and resource recovery, and identify drivers and barriers, as well as the target audience, underlining contamination of recycling collections and resource recovery rates.” It included more than 450 surveys from across the State, and 16 interviews with adults of varying backgrounds living in metropolitan Melbourne, to gauge their understanding and commitment to recycling.
With 18-34 year olds living in Melbourne turning up as having the least understanding of what could be recycled – and the least likely to recycle anyway – a new, clearer, track must be forged.
The project pinpoints several terms that were not registering with your typical recycler – soft and hard plastics, organics and contamination amongst them – and highlights household hotspots such as bathrooms and laundries for potential to ‘un-mix’ the messages.
Rinsing before recycling, chemical containers and the recyclability of hard/soft plastic packaging are key issues of confusion.