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National Survey Finds "Green Guilt" on the Rise

Tuesday, June 09, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Anne Piacentino
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Source: Waste Dive

National Survey Finds "Green Guilt" on the Rise
More U.S. Residents Plan to Recycle Batteries and Electronics, But Barriers Remain

According to a new national survey, approximately one-third (34%) of U.S. respondents suffer from ‘green guilt,’ or the feeling that they could and should be doing more to help preserve the environment. This finding shows an increase over a similar 2012 survey where 29% of respondents admitted to experiencing green guilt.

The survey was commissioned by Call2Recycle, Inc. to understand consumer attitudes and behaviors around proper product disposal and environmental responsibility. Additionally, it’s helpful to better understand what barrier consumers experience in participating in these activities so that municipalities and other organizations can continue making these options easier.

The good news is that respondents are putting green guilt to good use with four out of five (81%) saying they are likely to recycle batteries, cellphones, and other small electronics rather than throwing these items in the trash. The top reason reported for recycling these items is that it is the environmentally-responsible choice (70%).

However, seven in 10 (69%) respondents identified barriers to recycling batteries and electronics, especially:

Not knowing how or where to recycle their old technology (33%);
Not being able to find a collection event (22%); or
Local electronics or retailers not offering programs (20%).
Three in five (or 60%) of survey respondents reported needing a way to dispose of: single-use batteries, cellphones, computers, TVs, rechargeable batteries, cordless phones, DVD players, audio equipment and digital cameras. About a third (34%) of respondents need to discard single-use batteries and nearly a quarter (23%) need to dispose of cellphones.

While green guilt is on the rise overall, women (39%) and younger respondents ages 18-44 (45%) were even more likely to experience it. This resonates with other research that indicates Millennials are particularly concerned about the environment.

“Although more work needs to be done to inspire consumers to take action, we can see progress in making recycling more available and accessible,” said Carl Smith, CEO & president of Call2Recycle, Inc. “Consumers increasingly want to make a difference in sustaining the environment and view recycling batteries and electronics as an option for taking action. We’re pleased to see improvement in consumers knowing where to recycle batteries and related products since our last survey in 2012 when 44% of respondents did not know how or where to recycle these items.”

ORC International conducted an Online CARAVAN Omnibus survey from March 26-29, 2015, among 1,024 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

About Call2Recycle, Inc.
Founded in 1994, Call2Recycle, Inc.— operating North America’s first and largest consumer battery stewardship program—is a non-profit organization that collects and recycles batteries at no cost for municipalities, businesses and consumers. Since 1996, Call2Recycle has diverted 100 million pounds (45 million kilograms) of batteries and cellphones from the solid waste stream and established over 34,000 collection sites throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is the first program of its kind to receive the Responsible Recycling Practices Standard (R2) certification. Learn more at or or call us at 877-723-1297. Follow on Facebook or Twitter.

 Washington State Recycling Association | 545 Andover Park W, Ste 209, Tukwila, WA 98188 | 206.244.0311 |

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