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The recycling challenge

RCP report reveals businesses want to do more but need to bridge some gaps

Rubbermaid Commercial Products’ Love Recycling initiative has now led to a UK-specific report which shows businesses across the country have a desire to go further with their recycling initiatives but feel held back either by cost, bureaucracy or both.

RCP, a leading global provider of waste management products, released findings from mainland Europe last year as part of one of the largest commercially funded quantitative studies into business recycling and waste management ever conducted here. The study was performed with the aim of providing a detailed breakdown of how companies of different sizes are undertaking waste management and recycling processes, what can be improved within existing processes and what impediments there are to greater adoption of sustainable practices.

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Now the UK data, coupled with in-depth interviews of commercial waste management buyers, shows an increasing level of importance placed on the implementation of recycling practices, but also a need for more information, education and governmental support to bridge the gap between intention and action.

Among the key findings were:

  • • Across Europe, recycling is a top-3 issue for business, but in the UK, it ranks fifth.
  • • 99 per cent of UK businesses expect the government to provide increased education for businesses, incentives to drive adoption and sanctions for companies that don’t do more.
  • • Two-thirds of UK businesses stated a lack of government incentives as a factor in not doing more, while 53 per cent say they get minimal or no government support at all.
  • • Nearly half of UK companies cite a lack of shareholder engagement as an impediment to doing more.

Emilio Capelli, Vice President, Rubbermaid Commercial Products EMEA, says: “As we take a deeper dive into the data gathered during our commercial recycling and waste management research, we find many businesses have good intentions, but implementation is falling behind. That said, businesses are already considering future opportunities. Despite half seeing cost as a barrier to doing more, 93 per cent of those surveyed expected to increase their spending and 95 per cent recognise the growing importance of the issue as a whole.

“The virtually unanimous support for greater government leadership reflects a growing desire from all sectors for better infrastructure as a means of supporting improved recycling operations.”

To read through the findings and get the full set of insights from the research, download ‘The Changing Face of Commercial Recycling in the UK’ free from, alongside the previous continentallevel report. RCP continues to analyse the data gathered during the research phase, with plans to release sector-based reporting later in the year.

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