Pile of waste
Published date: 21 March 2023

Londoners rank waste reduction as top priority

Almost a third of north Londoners are New Wave Environmentalists who are committed to shopping sustainably and combating overconsumption, according to research carried out on behalf of North London Waste Authority (NLWA).

Behaviour Change Quiz
NLWA has developed a quiz to help residents identify their waste reduction personality, and discover how they can go even further to protect resources. Click here to find out yours!

Surveys and in-depth interviews were conducted by Savanta to understand current behaviours and attitudes towards waste reduction, which was ranked by two thirds of residents as one of the most significant issues facing the UK currently.

Four groups of north Londoners were identified, based on their current engagement with waste reduction, how important they think it is, their current behaviours, and their intended future actions.

New Wave Environmentalists, who are passionate about buying second hand and sourcing reusable alternatives, make up the biggest proportion at 31%.

They are closely followed by Waste Crusaders, who make up 28% of north Londoners. This group is committed to meal planning and recycling to protect the planet for future generations.

Curious Revellers, who prioritise cost and convenience, represent 22% of residents. The remaining 19% have been identified as Thrifty Planners, who care about the longevity of items they are buying.

The findings show that overall, 76% of north Londoners agree waste reduction is important. Of those, 42% rank environmental reasons as their top motivation.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Chair of NLWA, said: “It’s great news that so many residents recognise the importance of reducing waste and living sustainably, and are already playing their part to combat the climate emergency.

“We all need to adapt our everyday behaviours to minimise the devastating impact on the environment, from shopping habits to what we recycle. That’s why NLWA is committed to supporting the circular economy and making disposal the absolute last resort.

“From mattress recycling to free DIY materials, and repair events to our popular ReUse Shop, we are always exploring new ways to help residents reduce waste and save money.”