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‘There are little economic benefits to recycling’ – True or not true?

United States – US adults do not accept common statements made about the recycling industry to be true, shows a survey released by the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

When presented a series of statements, four truths and four myths, and asked if each was believable, more than half of the respondents in every case choose not to believe the statement. The true statements, however, were shown to be more believable than those that were false.

‘For years the recycling industry has fought back against common public misperceptions about the value of recycling,’ comments ISRI’s president Robin Wiener. ‘The data from this polls shows that we have been successful in combatting those myths.’

According to Wiener, the suvey also shows that much more work needs to be done to educate the public on the economic and environmental benefits recycling offers, as well as how recycling ‘has evolved as an industry’.

About the survey

Respondents were provided with eight statements. Four of them were true statements and four were false. For each they were asked if they believed the statement was true.

True statements:

-Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions: 49% believed to be true.

-The US recycling industry is highly technical and sophisticated: 28% believed to be true.

-There are enough materials recycled in the US to meet the production needs of domestic manufacturers: 27% believed to be true.

-The history of recycling dates back as early as the cave man: 19% believed to be true.

False statements:

-Recyclable material placed in a residential recycling bin is just mixed with trash later anyway: 11% believed to be true.

-A product made of recycled material is of a lesser quality that one made from new, raw materials: 8% believed to be true.

-There are no/little economic benefits to recycling: 7% believed to be true.

-Recycling does not save energy or conserve natural resources: 5% believed to be true.

73% of the respondents believed at least one of the true statements, while 22% believed at least one myth to be true.

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