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Two Sides warns of environmental misconceptions

Research by not-for-profit organisation Two Sides, has revealed that 46% of UK consumers believe that paper and paper packaging is wasteful.

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The latest study from Two Sides has revealed the misconceptions consumers have around paper recycling

With a recycling rate of 74% (CEPI, 2020) the study indicates the lack of education and underestimation consumers have for the material. The research also shows that the majority of UK consumers believe the rate of recycling paper isn’t very high, despite it being of the world’s most recycled materials.

The study was undertaken by Two Sides, along with independent research company, Toluna, which both seek to understand the changing perceptions towards print and paper by consumers.

Two Sides and Toluna report that only 12% of 18-24 year olds believe the recycling rate of paper is above 60%, a statistic the two companies find worrying, especially considering the publics’ increased awareness around the environment.

Statistics from the European Paper Recycling Council and Eurostat in 2019 and 2020 state that 56 million tonnes of paper was collected and recycled in 2020, with paper packaging having an even higher recycle rate of 85%.

We need to inform consumers of the high recycling rate and how paper is an important raw material in the circular economy

Jonathan Tame, Managing Director of Two Sides Europe, says: “This report shows there are many environmental misconceptions surrounding print and paper products.”

In response to the study the independent organisations have looked to dispel the myths and misconceptions around paper, as well as highlighting the material’s importance. 

Tame adds: “We need to inform consumers of the high recycling rate and how paper is an important raw material in the circular economy.”

Two Sides has pointed to businesses switching their customers to digital communications as an example of growing “environmental myths”.

With only 9% of UK consumers understanding that European forests are growing, the industry has a long way to go in educating the public on the benefits of paper, and the advancements the industry has made in sustainability.

If you have any news, email david@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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