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Survey Sheds Light on Americans' Recycling Expectations

October 31, 2013 3:30 am

There is an increasing need for the public and private sectors to collaborate to find and implement recycling solutions in communities across the country. A survey conducted by Research Data + Insights on behalf of the Carton Council of North America (CCNA) offers new findings that reveal that consumers overwhelmingly believe product companies and their brands play a crucial role in recycling. In the survey, which included 1,000 adults from across the U.S., 86 percent responded that they expect food and beverage brands to actively help increase the recycling of their packages.

U.S. consumers also indicated they look to the actual products they purchase for environmental information, even before turning to other resources. The vast majority (76 percent) reported they would look at the product's packaging to learn if a package is recyclable. The second most popular place to determine recyclability was the product's company website (33 percent), followed by the consumer's city website at 26 percent.

"First and foremost, this survey reiterates the importance of including a recycling message on product packaging," said Jason Pelz, vice president, environment, Tetra Pak North America, and vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America. "In an increasingly competitive and green-minded climate, consumers are revealing they expect food and beverage brands to actively help increase the recycling of their packages."

Pelz continues, "The Carton Council currently encourages food and beverage packaging brands to use the recycling logo that was developed for cartons. This logo reminds consumers that cartons are recyclable and provides the RecycleCartons.com website where consumers can learn if cartons are currently accepted in their community's recycling program. We're working hard to spread carton recycling access to every community around the country, and we need to do all we can to educate consumers about placing cartons in the recycling bin in communities that accept cartons in their recycling program. But we can't do it alone and would like brands to help us spread the word, on packages, on their websites, via social media vehicles and beyond."

The Carton Council is leading a national effort to increase access to carton recycling in the U.S. In 2009, 21 million U.S. households had access to carton recycling in 26 states. Now, 52.5 million households in 45 states can recycle cartons, a 150 percent increase that includes 64 of the nation's top 100 cities. Food and beverage brands that use cartons for their products are encouraged to join this effort, especially in helping promote carton recycling to their customers. CCNA can provide companies with tools to inform their customers, from step one which is adding the recycling logo to packages and recycling information on their websites, to an extensive list of possibilities beyond that. Those interested can connect with the Carton Council through CartonOpportunities.org.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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