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US consumers want to assuage their ‘green guilt’

United States – Some 34% of respondents to a national survey in the USA suffer from ‘€˜green guilt’€™, according to Call2Recycle. At the same time, consumers were in broad agreement that they ought to make more effort to support sustainable practices and products.

‘While green guilt is on the rise overall, women (39%) and younger respondents aged 18-44 (45%) were even more likely to experience it,’ says Call2Recycle. The ‘good news’ is that 81% of respondents said they are now more likely to recycle batteries, mobile phones and other small electronics rather than throwing these items into the refuse bin.

The main reason given for recycling small appliances was that it represents the environmentally-responsible choice (70%). However, 69% of respondents identified barriers to recycling batteries and electronics, especially not knowing how or where to recycle (33%), not being able to find a collection event (22%), or local electronics retailers not offering programmes (20%).

Respondents split the responsibility for proper product disposal between consumers (48%) and manufacturers (47%). This suggests manufacturer-supported collection programmes are vital to boosting current recycling and collection results.

‘While more work needs to be done to inspire consumers to take action, we can see progress in making recycling more available and accessible,’ comments Carl Smith, ceo and president of Call2Recycle. Consumers ‘increasingly want to make a difference’ and view recycling batteries and electronics as one means of taking positive environmental 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,’ he adds.

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