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Study to explore consumer attitudes to the recycling of e-waste


A new UK-wide study is set to explore consumer motivations and barriers to the recycling of e-waste. It is the first step in preparing for a new nation-wide communications campaign for 2019.

The study, which will be run by market research specialists Ipsos MORI, will combine qualitative and quantitative research to provide insight into the current challenges that need to be overcome to support increased recycling of e-waste.

Attitudes and behaviours in respect to the use, reuse, repair and recycling of e-waste will be explored across a representative cross sample of 2,000 people from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland complemented by more detailed interviewing and focus groups.

The research is being funded by the 2017 WEEE Compliance Fee Fund, which is investing nearly £8m to support the delivery of the UK’s waste electrical and electronic recycling regime. The findings will be used to inform a communications campaign in 2019 to encourage more to recycle their waste electronics and electricals.

The study will consider:
• What do consumers do when their product fails or breaks and what are the most significant factors that limit current levels of repair and recycling?
• What measures/channels for recycling e-waste are likely to be most effective?
• What is most likely to motivate consumers to respond to an e-waste initiative and adopt sustained behaviour change?
• Who should be the priority groups for targeting of communication and behaviour change initiatives? And what is the best way of communicating with these groups?
• What should the ultimate call to action be? How should this be framed?

Scott Butler, WEEE Fund project manager, said: “This is an important first step of a planned set of WEEE Fund communication activities to raise public awareness of the need and opportunity to reuse and recycle electronic and electrical products. This initial research will help us understand the current state of play and provide the foundation for these activities.”

Polly Hollings, research director, at Ipsos MORI said: “Ipsos MORI are delighted to be working with the WEEE Fund to research this topic. This is an area with limited existing research and we are looking forward to understanding more about public attitudes and engagement in recycling e-waste.”

More information on the WEEE Compliance Fee Fund 2017 is available at


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