Resource Use

Project aims for new waste reduction interventions

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has begun work on a joint project with water filtration company BRITA UK which will explore recycling patterns of some of Britain’s highest-wasting households and pilot a new waste reduction intervention in two local authorities.

Colour-coded recycling bins outside Somerfield, Lower Northam Road, Peter Facey (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Colour-coded recycling bins outside Somerfield, Lower Northam Road, Peter Facey (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Designed to understand the behaviours behind the waste habits of UK households, the research will use behavioural insight-led interventions to help households better understand and implement the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ premise of the waste hierarchy.

The project, run through Keep Britain Tidy’s Centre for Social Innovation, will involve people from Britain’s most wasteful households taking part in two workshops designed to share insights into the containers, bottles and packaging they throw away.

The workshops will also aim to increase the understanding that producing large volumes of recycling does not necessarily mean you are doing the right thing.

This research stage is currently ongoing and due to be completed in mid-March.

The findings of the workshops will be used to look at strategies to reduce household waste and then contribute to the design and implementation of the new waste reduction interventions, which will be piloted in two local authorities.

Local authorities that are interested in getting involved in the pilot, which is expected to run from April to September 2021, are being asked to contact Keep Britain Tidy for further information.

Keep Britain Tidy and BRITA UK have said they are keen to find practical, low-cost and scalable solutions to cut household waste. They hope to encourage households to rethink what goes in their bins and are looking to capitalise on a shift towards better recycling habits analysed during lockdown.

Last year, BRITA UK commissioned a YouGov poll that found as a result of the pandemic, 48 per cent of all adults are now more conscious of making sustainable choices day-to-day and 69 per cent of Britons are willing to change their behaviour to manage a global crisis.

Allison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, commented: “We’re very pleased to be working with BRITA UK on this important pilot, and helping Britain’s households to reduce their waste.

“Over the past year, we’ve all spent much more time at home and so have a far greater appreciation for the amount of waste we produce, and on reflection, how much is unnecessary.

“While we all want to get back to normality as soon as possible, it is crucial that we take forward the lessons we have learnt.”