Plastic waste and recycling in Greater Manchester

Closed 22 Apr 2019

Opened 19 Mar 2019

Feedback updated 13 Jan 2020

We asked

Recycle for Greater Manchester is the public facing brand of GMCA waste and resources.

We work with local councils in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford, to inspire and encourage the residents of Greater Manchester to manage their waste responsibly, helping residents to see the value of waste and the real benefits that can be achieved by wasting less and recycling right. (Wigan is not part of Recycle for Greater Manchester because it operates as a unitary authority and administers its own disposal arrangements.)

This survey was used to find out people’s attitudes, knowledge and behaviour in relation to the recycling and disposal of plastics.

We specifically asked:

  • how households last disposed of certain household plastic items (for example, bread bag, fruit punnet, hand soap bottle)
  • the reasons why people sometimes put some plastic items in the recycling bin rather than the general waste bin
  • how confident people are about which plastic items can be put in the recycling collection and which cannot
  • what people think happens to their general waste after it is collected by the council
  • opinions on statements relating to the equivalent amount of electricity generated from certain plastic items.

The survey was open from 19th March and ran until 22nd April 2019 and was promoted across social media channels.

You said

The survey received 395 responses overall, 97% of which were received by respondents living in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford (the target audience for Recycle for Greater Manchester).

The survey results gave an insight into how households last disposed of certain plastic items. The top three plastic items respondents reported to putting in the recycling bin which are currently not being accepted for recycling are: butter tub 16%, fruit punnet 14% and yoghurt pot 13%.

Respondents were asked how confident they were about which plastic items can be put in the recycling collection and which cannot. 54% of respondents said they were mostly confident but unsure about one or two items.

46% of respondents are aware that after the council collects their general waste it is sent to an energy from waste facility, whilst 33% of respondents think general waste is sent to a landfill site.

Respondents were asked to rate statements relating to the equivalent amount of electricity made from certain plastic items.  From the three statements, the percentage of respondents rated the statement 'It takes just 7 yoghurt pots to make enough electricity to power a fridge for a day.' marginally more favourably than the other two statements in terms of being informative (41%) interesting (42%) and motivating (36%).  

From respondents comments, some said the statements required further supporting information about how the energy from waste process worked. Some respondents also said they were unclear whether the statements meant the plastic items could or could not be recycled

We did

The results of the survey have been collated and used to develop our campaign ‘Recycling plastic?  It’s got to be a bottle.’

We’ve listened to the results and focused on providing clearer information on what plastics can and cannot be recycled in our print and digital communications. Also throughout our communication we state that general waste is used to make electricity.

We have created social media content toolkit and shared this with the nine councils to ensure consistent recycling messages are used.

For information about the ‘Recycling plastic?  It’s got to be a bottle’ campaign please visit, recycleforgreatermanchester.com/community and search #GotToBeABottle on Twitter.

Overview

Recycle for Greater Manchester is the public facing brand of GMCA waste and resources.

We work with local councils in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford, to inspire and encourage the residents of Greater Manchester to manage their waste responsibly, helping residents to see the value of waste and the real benefits that can be achieved by wasting less and recycling right.

(Wigan is not part of Recycle for Greater Manchester because it operates as a unitary authority and administers its own disposal arrangements.)

Why we are consulting

We need your help!

From this survey, we would like to find out your attitudes, knowledge and behaviour in relation to the recycling and disposal of your plastics. 

Your feedback will help us shape our next campaign. 

Audiences

  • General public

Interests

  • Green