Consumers Still See Recycling as Valuable

McLean, Va. (April 30, 2019) – Has a constant stream of negative press questioning recycling’s effectiveness led some consumers to worry about whether recycling is “worth it?” Fortunately, there is good news to share. Survey data released by the Paper and Packaging Board (P+PB) in its 2018 Campaign Impact Report reveals that 83 percent of consumers surveyed agree recycling paper of all kinds is still worthwhile. 

The P+PB Impact Report also shows that the paper and packaging industry is viewed more favorably than other materials industries including plastics and that just over 6 in 10 (62 percent) of those surveyed agree that paper’s benefits outweigh the risks when considering paperboard/packaging, paper and the environment.

 “What these numbers and the data in the full report suggests,” says Mary Anne Hansan, president of the Paper and Packaging Board, “is that when consumers are aware of the benefits of choosing paper and paper packaging, these materials remain valued choices.”

The steady attitudes about the benefits of these natural products come at a time when the corrugated recycling process and local recycling has been disrupted by global action; however, in a separate survey about packaging, (view the full survey report) P+PB reports the following about how consumers continue to rely on paper packaging and the role it plays in influencing their decisions: 

  • 68 percent of consumers said they were most likely to buy something in a paper or cardboard package if given the choice between paper or plastic.
  • 71 percent of consumers said they were more likely to buy brands that package their products in paper or cardboard, than in other materials.
  • 63 percent of consumers said that paper and cardboard packaging makes a product seem premium or high quality.

One factor contributing to preference for paper-based packaging is the design. Most (83 percent) agree that paper and cardboard packaging can be innovative. Roughly 70 percent of Americans feel that this type of packaging allows for more creative packaging designs than other packaging materials and that products packaged in paper or cardboard seem more artisanal or handcrafted (69 percent). To see the final results of the packaging survey, view the full survey report.

About the Paper and Packaging Board

The Paper and Packaging Board establishes and guides promotions designed to help slow the decline in paper use and expand demand for paper-based packaging products. More than 40 U.S. manufacturers and importers of these products collectively fund the board’s efforts including the Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds® campaign.

For more information:

Joan Sahlgren, Paper and Packaging Board