90 Million Items at Risk of Being Thrown Away in the UK This Year
Like many things in life, going to school is a little different in 2020. A lot has changed due to the ongoing pandemic; classes are now in bubbles, lunchtimes are staggered, and even lost property boxes cannot operate in the usual way. At My Nametags, we know how easy it is for children to lose things and the turnover of clothing in families can feel very high. So, we were intrigued to find out how the changing regulations are affecting the amount of lost property that is thrown away in schools each year.
Staggeringly, our research found that the average child permanently loses nine things per school year. With 10 million school-aged children across the UK, this adds up to an eye-watering 90 million lost items every single year. This is more of a concern than ever before as the lost property box can no longer store lost items in the same way due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, more lost items are being thrown away instead of being reunited with their owners.
In addition to the environmental impact of lost property ending up in landfill, the financial strain for parents is also considerable. We found that the average parent spends an additional £139 per year replacing things their child has lost, which equates to an astonishing £1,957 throughout their school life.
It came as no surprise to us that school jumpers are the most commonly lost item. Whether they are being used as goalposts on lunch breaks or left in the changing room after PE, jumpers can be easy for children to lose track of. They are lost so regularly that a quarter of parents have bought more than one, so they always have a back-up. Parents also said that school books, stationery and socks were among the most commonly lost items.
10 MOST COMMONLY LOST ITEMS
1. School jumpers
2. School books
8. Gym kits
Preventing Lost Items
With the growing awareness of the environmental impact of unnecessary waste, we all need to consider how we can avoid adding to the problem. Our research shows that only a third of parents use name labels to prevent their child from losing items and a fifth buy new instead of looking for things they have misplaced. Whilst the lost property box may have changed, with a little help from a name tag children can be spared the heartache of losing treasured items, whilst parents can be safe in the knowledge that they are benefiting both their wallets and the planet.
My Nametags makes name labels to avoid lost property.