Only a Third of Us Claim to Do Our Part With Recycling

Recycling has become a part of daily life for many of us, but only a third of Americans say they actually do their part, a new survey finds. About the same number (29%) admit they try to recycle when they can, while 9% confess they don’t recycle as much as they should.

According to the poll of 2-thousand U.S. adults, the biggest obstacles that keep people from recycling are concerns about under-regulation and contaminants (20%) and not believing the materials are actually being recycled (16%). Nearly a third (29%) don’t know their city’s or state’s recycling initiatives or laws, and among those who do know, one in four admit they don’t fully understand them.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CG Roxane, also reveals:

  • Half (51%) of respondents don’t know about the initiatives companies and businesses are working on involving PCR plastic, and 66% don’t know what “PCR” plastic means. (It’s Post-Consumer Recycled material or Post-Consumer Resin.)
  • Over three-quarters (79%) confess they’ve committed a “recycling sin” over the past year. These include throwing trash into a recycling bin or vice versa (51%), not verifying what materials a product is made from (30%) and putting recyclables in a trash bag then putting them in a recycling bin (27%).
  • If they saw a stranger tossing plastic into a trash can, 30% would silently judge them, but 27% wouldn’t mind at all.
  • While only 17% would call out a stranger for throwing away recyclable items or littering, 57% would call out a family member or friend for doing the same thing.
  • About a third (32%) of Americans couldn’t correctly identify the universal recycling symbol.
  • The biggest items people struggle with knowing how to recycle are electronics (58%), household cleaning products (36%) and food containers (22%).

Source: SWNS Digital

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