Fast Company:

Companies are failing to do one thing that could boost recycling


To gain a deeper understanding of perceptions of sustainable packaging, Smart Design asked 300 green-leaning people to evaluate the environmental pros and cons of different materials and packaging solutions. Fast Company recently reported on our work by Charlie Paradise and Jamie Munger. 

You’ve got an empty plastic bottle—so what do you do with it? Recycle it, obviously. But how? Do you rinse it out first? Remove the cap? Does it need to be separated from other recyclables? From other plastics? If you’re confused, you’re not alone: In a 2020 survey, Smart Design found that 43% of consumers who responded thought the cap should stay on, while 48% thought it should be removed.

This is typical of today’s recycling landscape. Despite innovations that have made recycling easier and more efficient, the average consumer is still in the dark about what to do. Environmental messaging has focused on raising awareness of pressing issues, and it’s largely succeeded in making people care—but this often fails to translate into action.

If we want to make a dent in the global garbage problem, and environmental degradation in general, this needs to change. There’s a gap between technology and people’s habits, and it’s a huge obstacle to more sustainable behavior.

Fortunately, the brands that put all that potential trash into the world are also perfectly positioned to close the understanding gap.

Read the full article in Fast Company

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Feb 2021