A growing number of Americans say that recycling is important to them and significantly impacts their food and beverage purchasing decisions, according to new data commissioned by the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), the association representing the North American manufacturers of glass containers. The release of this data coincides with America Recycles Day, an annual program of Keep America Beautiful.
In the 2013 study of consumers nationwide, over 75% said recycling is important to them. When asked whether or not using packaging that is made with renewable or recycled resources influences their choice of brands, products or services, consumers overwhelmingly indicated that it did, with more than 65% stating that it was either an extremely or very positive influence over their choices.
The study, commissioned by GPI and other organizations, was conducted by EcoFocus Worldwide, a leading authority on green and sustainability consumer trends. The researchers polled over 4,000 nationally representative adults ages 18-65.
“All recycling is important,” said Lynn Bragg, President of GPI, “but glass recycling is unique in terms of the impact it can have on the environment. For example, energy costs drop about 3% for every 10% of recycled glass used in the manufacturing process. Glass container manufacturing facilities use recycled glass every day in the production of new containers, translating into significant energy usage reductions.”
Glass is also unique in that it is truly 100% recyclable. Glass containers can be recycled over and over again into a new glass bottles without any loss in quality. GPI strongly supports a closed-loop manufacturing and recovery process (i.e. bottle to bottle recycling), which demonstrates the greatest benefits for the environment, energy and land-use considerations.
“While America Recycles Day serves as a milestone to raise awareness, recycling itself is too important to be confined to a day or a month. Recycling glass and other materials must be a part of consumers’ everyday lives,” said Bragg. “In spite of all of the recycling efforts, tons of glass is still disappearing into landfills, which could otherwise be made into new bottles and back on store shelves in as little as 30 days.
“GPI has many resources for both individuals and businesses to help close the loop on recycling and we encourage everyone to stand up and have their glass counted – and recounted,” said Bragg. Learn more about GPI and its resources at www.gpi.org.