United States – A survey commissioned by major US battery and mobile phone recycler Call2Recycle has revealed that 57% of respondents ‘possess old electronics they know they need to dispose of.’ Of all consumers surveyed, 29% admitted to feeling ‘green guilt’ as they tend to stockpile instead of recycling ‘ more than double the figure recorded in similar research in 2009, when only 12% expressed concern about the issue.
Mobile phones are the items most frequently hidden away at the bottom of the cupboard, representing 46% of the total, the survey reports. Also high on the list of electrical equipment that is no longer used but fails to go back into the loop are outdated computers (33%), television sets (25%), cordless phones (19%) and rechargeable batteries (17%).
This reluctance to recycle domestically correlates with the trend in both US business and the industrial sector. Reasons were found to vary, ranging from the public ‘not knowing what to do’ (44%) and ‘not having enough time’ (26%) to local stores ‘not offering any programmes’ (19%) or the people believing that recycling ‘would not make a difference anyway’ (10%).
Call2Recycle CEO and President Carl Smith interpreted the rise in recycling guilt as a ‘positive sign’, indicating that ‘many Americans feel an obligation to recycle and share responsibility’. He added: ‘Whether due to the recovering economy or for other reasons, consumers are stimulated to think about the proper disposal of old electronics and are conscious of the impact today’s actions have on the state of our planet.’
Consumers are not prepared to shoulder all the blame, though. Mr Smith pointed out: ‘When asked about extended producer responsibility, more than half (52%) of Americans say they believe that manufacturers should bear the cost of recycling their product after consumers are finished with it. But they’re almost equally split about their willingness to pay more for an item if a manufacturer took care of its proper disposal.’
Of the 38% who said they would accept an on-cost, most were female. A further 19% did not consider it worthwhile to spend their own money on more comprehensive recycling, but 22% said they would be more inclined to recycle e-waste if there were discounts or other rewards available.
The online survey assessed the views of almost 1,050 adults.
For more information, visit: www.call2recycle.org
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