Are UK small and medium sized businesses recycling?
Yes – lots of small businesses in the UK recycle. Our research from 2022 showed that half of UK SMEs (47%) are using some type of commercial recycling service.
However, this is not as high as it could be, and not as much as householders. Last year’s Recycling Tracker Report by WRAP highlighted that recycling is an everyday behaviour with 89% of people in the UK doing so regularly.
Earlier this year, Biffa asked over 1000 businesses about their attitudes and behaviours to the circular economy and sustainability. When asked, 35% of small businesses (between 10-49 employees) said they do not measure sustainability. Only 26% said they use ‘increase in recycling volume’ as a metric, while 34% cited 'reduction in general waste' - the most popular sustainability measurement amongst SMEs.
While a large number of smaller businesses are still not measuring sustainability, out of those that are, waste management is the most common way to measure sustainable progress. This shows that recycling and reducing waste are important to UK SMEs just as it is to UK citizens, however SMEs still need more support around recycling.
We asked business decision makers, "If at all, how does the business you work in measure sustainability?"