U.S. consumers also indicated they look to the actual products they purchase for environmental information, even before turning to other resources. The vast majority (76 percent) reported they would look at the product's packaging to learn if a package is recyclable. The second most popular place to determine recyclability was the product's company website (33 percent), followed by the consumer's city website at 26 percent.
"First and foremost, this survey reiterates the importance of including a recycling message on product packaging," said Jason Pelz, vice president, environment, Tetra Pak North America, and vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America. "In an increasingly competitive and green‑minded climate, consumers are revealing they expect food and beverage brands to actively help increase the recycling of their packages."
Pelz continues, "The Carton Council currently encourages food and beverage packaging brands to use the recycling logo that was developed for cartons. This logo reminds consumers that cartons are recyclable and provides the RecycleCartons.com website where consumers can learn if cartons are currently accepted in their community's recycling program. We're working hard to spread carton recycling access to every community around the country, and we need to do all we can to educate consumers about placing cartons in the recycling bin in communities that accept cartons in their recycling program. But we can't do it alone and would like brands to help us spread the word, on packages, on their websites, via social media vehicles and beyond."
The Carton Council is leading a national effort to increase access to carton recycling in the U.S. In 2009, 21 million U.S. households had access to carton recycling in 26 states. Now, 52.5 million households in 45 states can recycle cartons, a 150 percent increase that includes 64 of the nation's top 100 cities. Food and beverage brands that use cartons for their products are encouraged to join this effort, especially in helping promote carton recycling to their customers. CCNA can provide companies with tools to inform their customers, from step one which is adding the recycling logo to packages and recycling information on their websites, to an extensive list of possibilities beyond that. Those interested can connect with the Carton Council through CartonOpportunities.org.
To access more information on the survey findings, visit CartonOpportunities.org/survey, where a more in-depth summary is available for download.
ABOUT THE CARTON COUNCIL
The Carton Council is composed of four leading carton manufacturers, Elopak, SIG Combibloc, Evergreen Packaging and Tetra Pak, as well as an associate member, Weyerhaeuser. Formed in 2009, the Carton Council works to deliver long-term collaborative solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill. Through a united effort, the Carton Council is committed to building a sustainable infrastructure for carton recycling nationwide and works toward their continual goal of adding access to carton recycling throughout the U.S.
ABOUT CARTON RECYCLING
Food and beverage cartons are highly recyclable. Made primarily from paperboard, they provide a high‑quality valuable fiber that can be recycled into other paper products. In 2011, a new recycling paper grade was awarded by Paper Stock Industries specifically for cartons, grade #52. A new grade is only granted when industry demand and commodity value justify it. An increasing number of mills can recover the fiber and plastic from cartons. Additionally, aseptic cartons have a thin layer of aluminum, enabling the contents to be stored safely without refrigeration. This packaging has become increasingly popular in grocery and retail stores, especially for milk and juice. The aluminum can also be recovered and recycled.
ABOUT RESEARCH+DATA INSIGHTS
Research+Data Insights (RDI) is an international consulting firm that provides research services to inform influential and effective communications programs. RDI leverages multi-modal opinion research to provide insights on reputation and issues management, strategic and corporate communications, and public affairs. RDI also provides leaders with valuable information on both emerging challenges and recurring problems-a task that blends strategy with insight about public issues.