Why Americans Don’t Recycle

Recycling is done by just half of Americans daily, and 13 percent don’t recycle at all. Even though they understand the benefits to our environment and economy, their ineptitude of what can and can’t be recycled, doubled with their finding the process inconvenient and time-consuming, is becoming a major hinderance to recycling efforts all across the United States.

People who recycle the most are college graduates and adults over 55, and tend to be residents in the Northeast, and Western areas of the states. One of the major problems facing recycling today is that people don’t know what’s recyclable. They don’t know that items like crayons, trophies, and cat litter can all be recycled (we thought the only way to recycle crayons was by melting them on the dashboard of your parents car when you were little) and have false assumptions about materials that can’t be recycled — waxed material and cardboard soiled by food, like juice and pizza boxes.

When they’re unsure about what to recycle, half of people say they just throw the item away, 26% say they’ll look it up, and 18% say they’ll just throw it into the recycling bin anyways. People understand the benefits of recycling — about how it reduces landfills, saves trees, conserves energy, creates jobs, and makes money — but still have trouble following through.

Any readers have some tips on what helps them remember to recycle? Click here or the image below for a full sized view:


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