Over-55s most likely to recycle

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
Over-55s outdid every other age group on climate-conscious actions such as donating to charity shops and avoiding single-use plastic

Those aged 55 or over are more likely to recycle waste than any other age group in the UK, new research shows.

A study by insurance company Aviva, which surveyed more than 4,000 UK adults about their climate-conscious actions, showed that 84% of over-55s are taking steps to recycle.

It also found that over-55s outdid every other age group on actions from donating unwanted items to charity shops (76%) and avoiding single-use plastic (66%) to reducing air travel (24%) and eating only seasonal fruit and vegetables (47%).

The study showed that younger age groups pipped the over-55s only when it came to adopting a vegan diet and buying second-hand items.

Of those aged 35-44, 43% said they bought second-hand or upcycled items, as compared to 37% of over-55s.

Additionally, while 9% of those aged 16-24 said they had become vegans, just 2% of over-55s reported committing to a plant-based diet.

In general, the report also showed that Brits are becoming environmentally conscious, with two-thirds (68%) across all age groups saying they were more likely to pick brands with sustainable credentials.

More than three-quarters of respondents (78%) also said they used energy-efficient LED lightbulbs.

Zelda Bentham, head of sustainability at Aviva, said: “Green living and climate-conscious behaviours are often seen as the domain of the young, but this research suggests that older people are quietly leading the charge and taking steps to care for the planet.

“Whether we’re reducing plastic, growing our own food, or reducing how often we travel, we can all take small steps which can add up to a big difference.”


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