Monday, November 11th, 2013

November 11 to 17 is National Recycling Week, Planet Ark’s long-running environmental awareness campaign. After years of colour-coded bins (and the deafening tut-tuts of passersby if you toss a can in the wrong one), recycling is now a firmly embedded habit for most Australians.

In the two years to June 2013, only around 1 in 10 Australians aged 14+ disagreed that they try to recycle everything they can, research from Roy Morgan shows. 

However some people are still clearly happy to just chuck the newspaper out with the beer bottles, dead batteries and lopped branches.  

Helix Personas, Roy Morgan Research’s new profiling system, shows that a wide range of people are among the least likely to try to recycle, with each of the Least Recycling Personas part of a different Helix Community.  

The Five Most Anti-Recycling Helix Personas


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) July 2011 – June 2013, n = 40,651

Nearly 1 in 3 Country Comforts (from the ‘Getting By’ community of bargain-hunting young parents or older families, found in places including Queanbeyan, Tarneit, Roma, Coober Pedy and King Island) and 1 in 4 Out of Towners (from the ‘Battlers’ community of low-income workers in Yass, Broome, and Alice Springs) don’t try to recycle. 

However the remainder of the worst offending non-recyclers come from upper income personas, often living in picturesque locales.

Despite covering much of the Byron Bay region in north-east NSW, known for its eco-friendly outlook, Rural Realists are more than twice as likely to disagree with recycling as the average Australian. 

Set For Life and Quiet Achievers may be part of the elite and trendsetting Leading Lifestyles and Metrotech communities, but 17.0% and 16.4% of them respectively say they don’t attempt to recycle.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, says:

“Consistently around 90% of Australians say they try to recycle everything they can. These days, it’s a small minority overall who still maintain a one-bin-fits-all attitude—but in some areas this minority is sizable.       

Helix Personas can identify types of Australians based on their likelihood to recycle (or buy a car or go to the movies), and map where they live. Although over 3000km apart, for example, the same ‘Out of Towners’ persona type lives in both Yass and Broome; a recycling awareness program that works in one will likely work in the other.”  

Contact Profile

Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332


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