Pandemic-Driven Concerns Prompt A Recycling Wake-Up Call
Has the COVID-19 pandemic made you more or less likely to recycle and do other things that are good for the environment? According to a recent survey we sponsored, 58% of us are reevaluating our eco-friendly habits as a result of the pandemic, pointing to at least one positive outcome from a very stressful 2020.
Of the 2,250 Americans surveyed by OnePoll on behalf of Republic Services, six in ten reported they are worried about the future of the environment — but it's also helping them change their eco-friendly habits. About 65% said the pandemic has acted as a wake-up call for them to make sustainable choices, especially as they relate to recycling.
Of the 2,250 Americans surveyed, 75% recognized the importance of recycling, they don’t always do it. About 52% said they recycle most of the time — the biggest barrier was simply a lack of space in their home for an extra bin followed by a lack of understanding of what can and can’t be recycled.
That said, while 75% of respondents recognized the importance of recycling, they don’t always do it. About 52% said they recycle most of the time — the biggest barrier was simply a lack of space in their home for an extra bin (30%). That was followed by a lack of understanding of what can and can’t be recycled (26%) and a belief that their recycling isn’t actually recycled (24%).
Survey respondents identified five eco-friendly changes they’ve made since the pandemic started:
- Becoming more aware of their impact on their environment (44%)
- Being more careful to purchase eco-friendly products (43%)
- Working to waste less (41%)
- Taking more time to sort their recyclables (30%)
- Composting more (26%)
“These survey results reinforce that Americans can and want to be better recyclers,” said Pete Keller, Republic’s vice president of sustainability and recycling. “In the face of a pandemic, Americans are rightfully thinking about the steps they can take to be less wasteful. Today more than ever in the face of COVID-19, our manufacturing and supply chain has a critical need for recycled cardboard, paper, rigid plastic containers, aluminum, and tin.”
There’s no better time to make a commitment to our environment than America Recycles Day on November 15. To clear up some of the confusion surrounding recycling, we’ve created a simple guide to show you what to recycle.