Nearly half of all American adults are left to their own devices when it comes to figuring out recycling, claims a new study released by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.
The trade group has long been known for representing metal and paper recyclers, but has been making efforts to include plastics in recent years.
An online survey conducted by Harris Poll indicates 44 percent of the adult population “must rely on their own devices to figure out what can and cannot be recycled, information about the recycling process and other details about recycling,” ISRI said.
“It is deeply troubling to know that almost half of adults do not have access to recycling information,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, in a statement. “When people do not know how, what, or where to recycle, it can lead to trash entering and contaminating the recycling stream. It could also lead to recyclable materials ending up in landfills. Further public education on recycling by municipalities is needed to clear up confusion, promote proper recycling, and thereby increase recycling rates.”
ISRI is basing the results on an online survey conducted during five days in December that included 2,088 adults ages 18 and over.
The trade group indicated the survey “is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.”
A total of 56 percent indicated detailed recycling information is readily available.