Recycling in the Home – What Will it Take To Get Americans to Think Beyond the Garbage Can?

As Earth Day approaches, we’re all reminded of the importance of doing our part to protect the environment. And although recycling may be one of the easiest ways to do this, many items are still not making it to the proper bins. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of consumers consistently recycle in the home, but recycling participation drops off in rooms beyond the kitchen, where about half of Americans bypass the garbage can. Our latest research, the 2014 Cone Communications Recycling in the Home Survey, in partnership with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies as part of its Care To Recycle program, dives deeper into consumer motivations and roadblocks to recycling throughout the home.

At the heart of the issue is a lack of education about what is actually recyclable, and consumers look to companies to alleviate the confusion. In fact, more than one-in-four consumers say they would increase their recycling rates if companies more clearly indicated which products could be recycled. Consumers say they would also be encouraged to increase their recycling if companies educated them by:

  • Explaining how recycled materials are used (14%)
  • Helping consumers understand how recycling impacts the environment (12%)

At the end of the day, increasing recycling rates requires broad collaboration between communities, consumers and companies. Local governments must make recycling systems more widespread and easier to navigate, while individuals must take the initiative to properly dispose of their household trash. And companies play a critical role in not only educating consumers about how their products can be recycled, but also ensuring that information is easily accessible. To learn more about what companies can do, check out Cone’s latest Consumer Perspectives: Insights into Action post on CSRwire Talkback.

What helps you remember to throw things in the correct bin? Let us know on Twitter using #ConeCSR.


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