Resource Use

Zero Waste Scotland releases digital tool to tackle recycling confusion

Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) released yesterday (20 September) a digital tool to help the public combat recycling confusion.

The 'first ever' digital Recycling Sorter, according to the organisation, will allow Scots to search for an item and find locally-tailored information on whether it is recyclable, and which bin it should go in. ZWS hopes that this will help the Scottish Government meet its annual recycling targets.

Recycling binsResearch conducted by ZWS demonstrates that approximately half of the Scots surveyed admitted that they could increase the amount that they recycled, with a large portion of this group stating that they suffered from recycling confusion at some point during the process. This research also revealed that a third of respondents were not entirely certain of which items are recyclable and which are not. ZWS believes that the Recycling Sorter will ‘simplify and bring clarity’ to the recycling process, ensuring that the right refuse goes to the right place. The organisation states that through correctly sorting recyclable items, quantities of waste can be diverted from landfill.

The digital tool acts as the centrepiece of ZWS’s latest campaign, Time to Get Recycling Sorted, launched today (21 September). The campaign is tasked with increasing Scotland’s recycling abilities by ensuring that the general public is aware of the correct sorting procedures. With the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan presenting a target of 70 per cent of waste being recycled by 2025, ZWS is implementing strategies, such as the digital tool, in order to encourage the population to contribute to this uptake in recycling.

Ray Georgeson, Head of Resource Management, Waste and Recycling at ZWS, commented: “We know there’s confusion out there surrounding recycling different materials and products at home. The Recycling Sorter takes people back to basics and cuts through confusion. The user-friendly tool will inform people of what items can and can't be recycled and how to prepare items for recycling – such as wash, squash, sort – and includes hints and tips to make it easier at home.  

“The national recycling rate is not going in the right direction fast enough and we need to act now to transform our national recycling performance. Research carried out by Zero Waste Scotland reveals that nearly half the population could definitely increase the amount of recycling they do.”