Children Are Shaming Their Parents Over Recycling

by : Julia Banim on : 15 Mar 2019 19:53
Kids are encouraging their parents to recycle.Kids are encouraging their parents to recycle.Deposit Photos

We all need to do our bit to protect the environment, and it would appear the younger generation are taking their responsibility very seriously.


New research shows parents are being shamed over their bad recycling habits by their own kids. A survey of 2,000 individuals with kids between the ages of five and 18 found one out of six reckon their offspring are more knowledgeable about recycling than they are.

Four out of 10 have attempted to chuck recyclable items away – such as fruit punnets, batteries and cling film – only to be caught red handed by their environmentally conscious child.

One quarter of children have even gone so far as to point out good recycling practices while doing the big food shop, urging their mums and dads to bring along their own carrier bags or opt for unwrapped fruit and veg.


Co-operative Social Responsibility Manager at The Midcounties Co-operative, Mike Pickering, has made the following comment:

Reducing single-use plastic is a high priority for our 700,000 members, so we wanted to understand whether this desire was making its way to the next generation.

Our results show, happily, that the mantle is also being passed down, with children showing real engagement in sustainable living – something we see regularly through our work with schools.

This revealing survey was carried out by The Midcounties Co-operative, who hope their ‘1Change’ will begin to reduce dependence on wasteful, single-use plastic.

Mr Pickering continued:

It’s up to all of us to make sure we’re doing our best when it comes to our purchasing habits and recycling.

We are launching 1Change – an initiative aimed at mobilising our 700,000 members and the next generation to make one change to reduce single-use plastic.

Through 1Change, the Society is working with schools to educate children about the environmental impact of single-use plastic. We’re seeking to engage with 50 schools through our ‘Plastic is not Fantastic’ education programme this year.

We’re also removing single-use plastic carrier bags across our premium supermarkets by 2020 and, we’re committed to reduce waste through our operations by 20 per cent by 2022, while maintaining our recycling rate of 99 per cent.

One in four parents admitted to feeling ashamed after their bad recycling practices were caught out by their kids. However, a fifth feel real pride in their children for showing a commitment to a greener planet.


Most of the parents credited have praised their children’s school for teaching them about issues concerning sustainability and recycling, perfectly demonstrating the value of environmental education.

Good to see how young people are showing care for the world they live in. Now let’s follow their lead.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News