Research by the UK’s leading waste management companies has found that many breweries and distillery companies are having to cope with the ever-growing mountain of waste and by-products caused by their business, as statistics show that a staggering 70% of British people admit to drinking alcohol on a weekly basis.
In theory glass bottles and tin cans are easily recycled in bottle banks and designated recycling bins. The reality can be different however, as brewers and businesses often cannot control how their products are dealt with once they are in consumer hands.
Students are thought to be one of the greatest contributors to the “millions of tonnes of glass and aluminium” put into landfill every year.
A clear trend can be seen amongst young people’s lack of responsibility being linked to a lack of education about waste management and the environment. Third-year English Literature student, Rosie Blamey, commented that: “Houses don’t always come with recycling bins, some students wouldn’t even know how to go about recycling”.
“Houses don’t always come with recycling bins, some students wouldn’t even know how to go about recycling”.
National statistics suggest that young people also “buck the national trend” when it comes average alcohol intake, with many young people admitting to drinking on a regular basis.
Peter Cowell, a MORSE student, stated: “A lot of Brits will buy one bottle or pack and don’t really consider the consequences.”
However, recent research shows that waste management issues can also be traced back through to the brewing and distilling process, where companies are struggling to deal with the excess waste products in a responsible way.
Official statistics sourced from BusinessWaste.co.uk show that people within Britain consume a total of 1.5 billion bottles of wine, 108 million bottles of vodka, 70 million bottles of Scotch and 30 million bottles of gin annually.
Online author Mark Hall, provided information on behalf of BusinessWaste.co.uk, stating that: “Aside from the obvious health risks…up to 50% of alcohol containers aren’t recycled and end up in general waste bins.”
“Aside from the obvious health risks…up to 50% of alcohol containers aren’t recycled and end up in general waste bins.”
Chloe Evans, a second-year student suggested that: “Additional bottle banks and recycling bins in outside communal spaces are essential in changing these figures as they give people the resources to recycle – there’s more incentive to do so.”
There is a strong presence of societies and groups across the University of Warwick, such as the Green Party Society, and the Blackout events based on campus, that do take pride in actively working towards and promoting environmental awareness.
A spokesperson for the Allotment Society on campus described their role as recycling food and other waste, noting that: “The more these societies grow in numbers, the more the university sees that these are important issues for students, and the more likely they are to take action.”