Couples do more recycling than singles, and single women recycle more than single men, at least in the UK, according to new research.
Using data from more than 5,000 households as part of the 'Understanding Society' survey, Essex University doctoral student Hazel Pettifor discovered that 79% of opposite-sex couples recycle their rubbish in the UK. The number drops to 69% among women living alone, while only 58% of single men recycle.
Recycling is also moving away from being a “green act” in the UK and is now seems to be just a part of housework, Pettifor said.
She also said that women are more like to recycle waste away from the kitchen, such as textiles, and are doing more than their fair share of recycling overall.
“In the same way that housework tasks are often split, with the woman of the house taking on the daily, routine activities, it is likely that women are emptying and rinsing out containers, removing lids and labels and sorting waste,” Pettifor told The Guardian, “while their menfolk make the fortnightly trip to the bottle bank or put the bins out.”
The government in the UK wants 50% of all waste recycled by 2020. Currently, recycling rates stand at 41.5% in England and Wales, 39.7% in Northern Ireland and 37.2% in Scotland.