Consumers expect companies to play an active role in recycling and they want a product’s packaging to tell them if it is recyclable, according to a survey conducted by Research Data + Insights on behalf of the Carton Council of North America.
According to the survey of 1,000 adults from across the US, 86 percent say they expect food and beverage brands to actively help increase the recycling of their packages.
Consumers also indicated they look to the actual products they purchase for environmental information, before turning to other resources. The vast majority (76 percent) say they look at the product’s packaging to learn if a package is recyclable. The second most popular place to determine recyclability is the product’s company website (33 percent), followed by the consumer’s city website at 26 percent.
The research advances the idea that a company’s environmental efforts strengthens brand loyalty, with 45 percent of respondents saying their loyalty to a food and beverage company would be affected by that brand’s engagement in environmental causes.
Jason Pelz, vice president, environment, Tetra Pak North America, and vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America, says the survey should encourage food and beverage packaging brands to use the recycling logo developed for cartons, which tells consumers that cartons are recyclable and provides the RecycleCartons.com website where they can learn if cartons are currently accepted in their community’s recycling program.
Pelz says the council encourages brands to “spread the word” on their packages we well as websites and social media outlets.
Industry recycling of aluminum beverage containers in the US continued its decade-long upward trend in 2012 with a rate of 67 percent, according to data released by the Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).
This is the highest recycling rate since the early 1990s and the second highest rate reported since the survey began in 1972, the groups say. However, it’s not the seven-percentage-point jump the industry saw the year prior, when the US recycling rate for aluminum beverage containers grew from 58.1 percent in 2010 to 65.1 percent in 2011. Still, the 2012 rate marks progress toward the industry’s goal of 75 percent recycling by 2015, the groups say.