Carton Recycling at an All-Time High


By Carla Fantoni, VP of communications for the Carton Council

Good news! New research commissioned by the Carton Council revealed that consumers’ positive attitudes toward recycling are at an all-time high, with nearly all surveyed (94 percent) showing support for recycling. Breaking it down further, almost three-fourths (74 percent) believe recycling is important and should be made a priority, and an additional 20 percent think it is somewhat important and people should do what they can to try to recycle.

Perhaps the best news to come out of the survey is that Americans don’t just think recycling should be a priority, they are acting on it. The survey asked respondents about their recycling behavior for common recyclables, and the results showed an overall increase in respondents reporting that they always recycle accepted items. Food and beverage cartons showed a significant increase, with 61 percent of respondents saying they always recycle their food and beverage cartons, up from 50 percent when the survey was last conducted in 2015. This is a sign that our collective education efforts are working!

Also of note is that while the survey showed that packaging remains the top source for determining recyclability, friends and family, the news, and community websites rounded out the top four. It’s more important than ever to ensure all materials are accurately and effectively communicating to residents. We have toolkits for communities and brands to help!  

The survey also reported recycling behaviors broken down by state in two categories: Residents reporting they recycle their food and beverage cartons most often; and states whose residents have the most supportive outlook of recycling. Congratulations to those states making it to the top five!

For more information on the research findings, visit Questions?