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Study Shows Consumers View Packaging For Recycling Guidance

CBA recycling system

According to research commissioned by the Denton, Texas-based Carton Council of North America, 75 percent of consumers said they would assume a package is not recyclable if it does not contain a corresponding logo or information.

For companies and brands looking to improve the likelihood their package gets recycled, the new research reinforces the importance of recycling information included on packaging. The research also reveals that the package remains the top source (50 percent) for recycling information, followed by local community websites (41 percent).

Other areas are also gaining in importance, including social media, news, influencers and advocacy groups.

Placing an impetus on recycling education, 74 percent of consumers said that knowing a brand’s packaging is recyclable increases the likelihood they will purchase it over another, comparable product. Additionally, 60 percent indicate their loyalty to food and beverage products is impacted by the brand’s engagement with environmental causes.

“Many consumers want to do the right thing and recycle all they can, but it’s not always clear what’s recyclable – both in general and in their neighborhood,” said Larine Urbina, director of communications.

“Ensuring recycling information is on every recyclable package is a first step. But we also know that recycling varies from community to community, so consumers should always check with their local programs to see what they can recycle where they live.”

The Carton Council is launching its new address locator at RecycleCartons.com. Currently, more than 61 percent of the U.S. has carton recycling access, representing more than 71.6 million households.

The survey also revealed that support of recycling continues to grow among consumers, with 76 percent reporting that recycling is important and people should try to make it a priority; a 25 percent increase since the question was first asked in 2015. An additional 19 percent said they believe recycling is somewhat important and people should do what they can to try to recycle.

To learn more, visit recyclecartons.com/industry/research.

The Carton Council is composed of four carton manufacturers: Elopak, Pactiv Evergreen, SIG and Tetra Pak. Formed in 2009, the organization works to deliver long-term solutions in order to divert cartons from the landfill. 

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