Nearly half of Americans say they would never shop with a company again if they learned they weren’t being as sustainable as possible, according to new research. Another one in three would even take to social media and voice support against those companies and encourage others to not shop with them anymore either. A recent survey of 2,000 Americans showed recycling and bold action toward sustainability means a lot to the modern consumer. It’s so important, in fact, that the average American would even pay 26% more than retail price if it meant the product was completely sustainable.
The survey, commissioned by The Recycling Partnership and conducted by OnePoll, aimed to understand the role sustainability plays in how consumers choose to shop. Seven in 10 Americans polled said they would go out of their way to support a company that makes strong efforts to be sustainable. Even more, eight in 10, say they believe that in 10 years’ time, every product on the shelves should be 100% sustainable.
The results showed sustainability is trending up and becoming a higher priority for consumers — 79% say they are more conscious of supporting green and sustainable companies now than they were five years ago. More than three in four (78%) believe that businesses and corporations are simply not doing enough right now to be sustainable, leaving a big gap between consumer preference and brand image.
The survey also delved into how individuals embrace recycling and being sustainable on their own. Eight in 10 Americans feel they recycle “as often as they should,” with 85% saying recycling is very important to them. But 81% of those polled are in agreement that together, we aren’t doing enough as a society to combat wastefulness. “The Recycling Partnership is proud to be a change agent and a leader in the movement to transform the U.S. recycling system,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership” “Especially in the world we live in today and on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we need change and we need it now – there’s no time to be timid.”
Nearly half of those polled said they have even dug recyclables out of trash cans to recycle them, with 48% saying they’ve actually stopped somebody from throwing something recyclable away. But while Americans are passionate about recycling and being sustainable, that doesn’t mean they are perfectly aware of how to recycle properly. One in 10 Americans said if they aren’t sure how to properly recycle an item, they will more than likely throw it in the garbage.
The average American will also throw away three items they know to be recyclable per week. But 78% say they feel guilty every time they do this. “Citizens play a critical role in reducing waste and improving markets for recyclable materials by recycling properly,” Harrison said. “But they can’t do it alone. Companies need to commit to designing for recycling and bolstering the U.S. system so that we can see successful increases in recycling rates, together. A healthier U.S. recycling system is good for the economy and the planet.”
TOP 5 REASONS AMERICANS RECYCLE
1. To make sure the world is inhabitable for future generations 56%
2. To make the world a better place for future generations 51%
3. To preserve natural resources 49%
4. To reduce carbon emissions 47%
5. To minimize accumulation in landfills 47%