Children ‘shame’ parents for poor recycling knowledge

Greta Thunberg has inspired a greater understanding — and tenacity — among the youth

Gemma Francis
Tuesday 02 June 2020 18:18
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Nearly half of parents have been shamed by their own children for bad recycling practices.

A poll of 2,000 parents of school-aged children found 40 per cent believed their offspring drive recycling and sustainability attitudes at home, thanks to the popularity of teenage environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg.

And 43 per cent had been “told off” by their children for not making more effort with the recycling three times per week on average.

But the study, by the Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association, found more than one-third of parents admitted their children knew more about the environment and recycling than they do.

A spokesperson for the Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association, said: “Recycling has come on in leaps and bounds even in the last few years — things that weren’t able to be recycled by councils are now much more widely re-usable.

“Because of this, children are now learning about how to be green at school, and people like Greta Thunberg proving popular, many youngsters know more about recycling than their parents.

“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 is by their children.

“Children are very enthusiastic about the environment and it could be an opportunity for people to learn about what they can be doing more of to improve their recycling – even if it’s as simple as remembering to recycle a can instead of just throwing it away.”

The study also found 35 per cent of parents were happy to admit their offspring cared more about recycling than they did.

Newspapers accounted for 10 per cent of sustainability knowledge in kids.

One-third of parents said their children “look up to” Greta Thunberg, leading to a passion for being green.

However, despite the prompting from their children, one in five parents often threw things out that could have been recycled because they were confused about what can and cannot go in the green bin.

Despite nine in 10 people being aware that tin cans could be recycled, more than one-fifth had no idea that you could recycle metal paint cans.

Many also know more than they think about how to recycle metal packaging, with more than eight in 10 aware you do not have to crush cans, while three-quarters knew you do not need to remove paper labels.

The MPMA’s spokesperson added: “Even now, there’s a lot of confusion among consumers about what counts as recyclable waste.

“Things like cans of paint, old technology like phones and keyboards, and even trays from fruit punnets leave millions in a flap.

“This is why it’s so important that the younger generation keeps up their interest in helping save the planet — beginning with their own homes.”

SWNS

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