A national survey by the Carton Council of North America found that most people believe recycling serves a meaningful purpose, that more people should do it for the greater good, and that they look to the media and other information sources to stay informed on recycling, according to a press release.
Specifically, 61% of respondents believe citizens should treat recycling as a priority and 29% said people should take advantage of any opportunities to recycle. 95% of consumers believe the volume of people who recycle their household containers directly impacts the environment; and 82% said all or some of their neighbors participated regularly in recycling collection days.
- The findings are based on responses from 2,495 adults composed of a nationally representative sample of Americans who have access to community curbside recycling services.
In 2009, 18% of U.S. households could recycle their cartons locally, though the infrastructure has grown dramatically in just seven years—up to 58%, representing a robust 222% increase.
People are enthusiastically tapping into these services, seeming to prove wrong a recent declaration in a New York Times article that went viral, claiming Americans likely recycled simply for an "emotional need." This data seems to match up with recent events, including when 1.5 million people across the country participated in Keep America Beautiful’s America Recycles Day, and as seen in the popularity of other diversion programs drawing consumer participation.
The citizens have said they see recycling as a way to look out for their community and that they turn to that community for information pertaining to programs in their cities and towns. The greatest number of respondents said they rely on local media to learn about recycling, followed by friends and family, then bill stuffers in their mail.
Meanwhile, the Recycling Partnership and Carton Council have partnered to have an impact on a larger scale.
“We share a joint mission … in working to create solutions that engage members all along the recycling supply chain to increase recycling nationwide. We also recognize that our job isn’t done, but together with the Carton Council and our many other partners, we are taking action to deliver bold results,” said Keefe Harrison, executive director of The Recycling Partnership.