As a part of America Recycles Day, the study profiled Americans’ recycling habits and proved that the “out of sight, out of mind” attitude is no longer dominant. According to the survey, 82 percent of Americans understand that their recycled plastic bottle can be made into lumber for homes and decks, car bumpers, life jackets, boat sails, rope and T-shirts.
But while 80 percent of U.S. households have access to plastics recycling programs, according to Steve Russell, vice president, Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council, Americans still have a long way to go.
“It’s encouraging to see that more and more Americans are making an effort to recycle at home, but there is still a huge opportunity to educate and motivate the remaining third who don’t,” said Russell.
“Many plastics can be easily recycled in most communities and given a second life as carpet, clothing, furniture, backyard decks, new bottles and bags, and other products we use every day.”
The U.S. EPA estimates that 75 percent of what Americans throw in the trash could actually be recycled. The current recycling rate for the U.S. hovers around 30 percent, which saves the equivalent of more than 5 billion gallons of gasoline, reducing dependence on foreign oil by 114 million barrels.