Canadian Plastics

Consumers ‘overwhelmingly’ support all types of plastics recycling, survey finds

Canadian Plastics   

Plastics Processes Recycling

Sixty-two per cent of the public believes that single-use plastics are important to their quality of life, the survey also revealed.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/warloka79

A new survey released by the Plastics Industry Association indicates that consumers “overwhelmingly” support all types of recycling when it comes to plastic products or packaging that should be considered “recyclable” or made from “recycled material.”

In an April 19 news release, the Washington, D.C.-based association also noted that its survey found that 62% of the public believes that “single-use plastics are important to their quality of life.”

The survey of 1,200 Americans – conducted by research firm RG Strategies from February 22 to 28 – will be submitted to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is now accepting comment on potential changes to its “Green Guides,” which are intended to provide guidance on how consumers interpret environmental marketing claims.

“Our goal is to build a more circular economy, and that means enabling consumers to easily find and purchase products and packaging that are designed to be recycled or made from recycled content,” Matt Seaholm, president and CEO of Plastics Industry Association, said in the release. “Consumers don’t discriminate against technologies like advanced recycling which enable them to recycle more of the plastic products they use. They want labels or branding to be simple and consistent and are more focused on keeping plastics in a recycling bin and out of the landfill.”


Among other findings, the survey indicated that more than 9 in 10 Americans see both advanced recycling and mechanical recycling as examples of recycling. It also found that:

  • 90% of Americans care more that a plastic item doesn’t end up in the trash or litter than which process is used to recycle the item.
  • 87% of Americans believe industry and government should do more to support all types of recycling, including advanced recycling.
  • 89% of Americans say that the label of “recycled content” is appropriate for plastics processed by mechanical recycling or advanced recycling.
  • 91% of Americans say that the label “recyclable” is appropriate for products that could be processed by mechanical recycling or advanced recycling.
  • 82% of survey participants agree that it is appropriate to label an item as recyclable if a product can be recycled, even if access to recycling facilities across the country varies.

Consumers also recognize the value of “mass balance” accounting practices, which are used by many industries to track attributes of sustainable feedstocks, such as amount of recycled content, across complex supply chains. In fact, 67% of Americans consider mass balance-certified plastics to be better (21%) or the same (46%) as other recycled content, while only 14% of survey participants disagree.

The complete survey results can be found at this link.


Stories continue below