Beverage Industry

Americans expect food, beverage brands to play a role in recycling

Consumers look to product’s packaging first to learn whether it is recyclable

October 30, 2013

The majority of consumers believe that product companies and their brands play a crucial role in recycling, according to a new poll conducted by New York-based Research Data + Insights (RDI) on behalf of the Carton Council of North America (CCNA), Vernon Hills, Ill. The consulting firm surveyed 1,000 adults from across the United States, and 86 percent of them responded that they expect food and beverage brands to actively help increase the recycling of their packages. Consumers also indicated that they look to the actual products they purchase for environmental information, even before turning to other resources, RDI reports. Seventy-six percent said that they check packaging for recycling information, 33 percent turn to the company’s website, and 26 percent visit their city’s website, it adds.

“First and foremost, this survey reiterates the importance of including a recycling message on product packaging,” said Jason Pelz, vice president of environment at Tetra Pak North America, Vernon Hills, Ill., and vice president of recycling projects for the CCNA, in a statement. “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.

“The Carton Council currently encourages food and beverage packaging brands to use the recycling logo that was developed for cartons,” Pelz continued. “This logo reminds consumers that cartons are recyclable and provides the www.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 CCNA is helping to lead a national effort to increase access to carton recycling in the United States. 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, which is 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. The CCNA can provide companies with tools to help inform their customers, such as adding the recycling logo to packages, placing recycling information on their websites and more. Interested parties can connect with the CCNA by visiting www.cartonopportunities.org.

To view the CCNA’s recycling infographic, click here.