The specialist recycler of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) Enviroo, has commissioned a one-year master’s research project at the Center for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University, which will discover the behaviors around recycling and find out what motivates them. consumers to recycle while in the field. go.
Enviroo plans to develop a custom reverse vending machine that can collect recyclable waste from consumers outside the home. This project will study how best to encourage consumers to use this facility continuously.
The research is supported by the Eco-I North West project. The £ 14million initiative allows companies to collaborate and access the vast knowledge base, cutting-edge research facilities and skills of six of the region’s leading universities, including Lancaster. It is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and gives Enviroo access to the research body of a prestigious top-ten university, helping to essentially create an “R&D arm” for their company.
The collaboration with the Center for Global Eco-Innovation highlights the importance of research and development for Enviroo and this masters research lays the groundwork for a PhD that will focus on the feasibility of a multidisciplinary product return system ( DRS) encompassing a wider range of packaging.
Based in the Department of Psychology at Lancaster University, MSc student Elisabeth Checketts will investigate why there is a gap in people’s recycling behaviors, with many more confident in recycling at home. than when they are on the move.
The focus will be on determining the attitudes, motivations and likely incentives in order to change people’s behavior and make recycling on the go habitual. The project will also investigate how to succeed in DRS (rather than occasional one-off behavior); which products consumers would be interested in recycling and how best to encourage consumers to use these machines to recycle on the go.
Enviroo CEO Ahmed Detta said: “A successful return system is essential if we are to create a truly circular economy for recycling. With a lack of confidence in recycling and a growing climate emergency, understanding the incentives behind recycling on the go has never been more important to help create a DRS that will create habitual behavior. We are excited to be working with Elizabeth on Lancaster University’s Eco-I NW program and look forward to supporting this research, paving the way for the creation of closed loop recycling ”.
Researcher Elisabeth Checketts commented: “I am delighted to be researching behaviors around recycling, working with Enviroo to have a practical impact on people’s recycling habits. I think understanding people’s recycling behaviors is essential if we are to create a program that becomes habitual for consumers and help the UK stop exporting our waste overseas. It would also be fantastic to conduct practical trials of return programs on campus. I look forward to publishing my findings and helping Enviroo create a transparent and efficient deposit return system ”.
Dr Andy Pickard, Director of the Center for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University, added: “We are working with industry to deliver better solutions for business and for the environment. Research that transforms behaviors and enables items currently treated as waste to deliver value to businesses and users, offers an exciting prospect for enabling beneficial change.
Enviroo had its planning request approved earlier this year for its first UK plastic recycling facility in the north-west of England. The facility will be able to reuse 100% of the PET it absorbs and help recycle some of the 4.9 million tonnes of plastic waste created in the UK each year.