Study: Couples More Likely to Recycle Than Single People

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Recycle Glass Bottles

Sixty nine percent of single women in a recent survey recycle, compared to 58 percent of single men.

Single women are more likely to recycle than single men, but couples are more likely to recycle than either separate group, according to the results of a new study conducted in the United Kingdom.

The study was conducted by Understanding Society, a group that studies household behaviors, and invesgtigated the habits of 5,000 households, including single men, single women and couples. Sixty-nine percent of the single women surveyed recycle, compared to 58 percent of single men. Seventy-nine percent of mixed sex couples reported that they recycle.

Cohabiting drives recycling rates up because, as the sexes are combined, their behaviors rub off on one another. Even in 2013, women still take on more household chores than men, Hazel Pettifor, the University of Essex doctoral student that headed up the study, told The Guardian.

“Women are probably doing more than their share,” Pettifor told the newspaper. “In the same way that housework tasks are often split with the woman of the house taking on the daily, routine activities, it is likely that women are emptying and rinsing out containers, removing lids and labels and sorting waste, while their menfolk make the fortnightly trip to the bottle bank or put the bins out.”

While women might be taking on a heavier household workload in general, men who equally split chores are just as likely to share in recycling, the study concludes.