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How your green business can encourage consumers to recycle

A new survey finds that companies can play a key role in encouraging consumer recycling.
A new survey finds that companies can play a key role in encouraging consumer recycling.
Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of consumers consistently recycle in the home, but only about half do so in rooms beyond the kitchen. That’s just one of a number of interesting findings in the 2014 Cone Communications Recycling in the Home Survey, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson as part of its Care to Recycle program.

The study also finds that consumers could be further encouraged to recycle more often at home (41%) with more education and resources provided by companies and their own communities. How could your company help educate consumers? According to the survey by more clearly indicating which products can be recycled (28%); explaining how recycled materials are used (14%); and by helping consumers understand how recycling impacts the environment (12%).

Consumers would also be more apt to recycle if communities provided more resources – such as offering recycling programs or centers; making it more cost or time efficient to recycle; helping consumers understand what types of products can be recycled locally; and offering single stream recycling so they do not have to separate recyclables.

“When it comes to improving consumer recycling rates, companies can’t go it alone,” says Liz Gorman, senior vice president, Sustainable Business Practices, Cone Communications. “Consumers are calling for a collaborative approach, asking communities to provide solutions that make recycling less confusing and more convenient so consumers can do their part.”

The survey also found that labels can improve a product’s chances of being recycled, particularly because only one-fifth of recyclers bother to research whether a product can be recycled when it is not clearly labeled. “Companies who want to make an impact need to prioritize sustainability messages on their products and make information available through other channels,” says Gorman.

To download a copy of the 2014 Cone Communications Recycling in the Home Survey and learn ways your green business can help turn more consumers into fervent recyclers, click here.