TerraCycle report: 2021 household recycling trends in Australia and New Zealand

It’s that time of year again! We’ve released our annual recycling report – Household Recycling in Australia 2021: A TerraCycle Report, which uncovers attitudes and behaviours towards rubbish in both Australia and New Zealand. Despite these two neighbouring countries living over 2,500 miles apart, the findings have shown that when it comes to waste and recycling, their views and actions are remarkably similar.

In Australia, we surveyed 1,877 respondents, 90% of whom said they will pay more for a product that can be recycled, with 60% admitting they’d go out their way to buy a product with a recycling solution. 

On the flipside, in New Zealand we caught up with 314 respondents who had a lot in common, with 58% agreeing they’d go that extra mile to purchase a product with a recycling solution and 87% prepared to pay more for a product that can be recycled. 

The report has also uncovered how COVID-19 restrictions changed people’s habits around waste. 

Well-intentioned Aussies and Kiwis were prevented from acting sustainably due to COVID-19 restrictions, causing a rise in household and single-use plastic waste going to landfill. Almost one quarter of respondents in ANZ said their household waste had increased by over 50% during COVID-19. What’s more, respondents also saw an increase in single-use items including a single-use face masks, followed by an increase in takeaway containers and a rise in disposable coffee cups. 

Despite best efforts from people who are spending more and going out of their way to source sustainable products, misconceptions around sustainable products are still an issue in recycling. TerraCycle’s report has shown that more than 40% of people in Australia and nearly 30% in New Zealand believe that compostable plastic, bioplastics and biodegradable products can be put in home compost or kerbside, when in fact they need special conditions to decompose.
SO what can we do to stop some of the most common recycling mistakes? Have a read of our blog on the most common recycling blunders to find out how to get recycling right.

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