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Voters are prioritizing recycling – but are legislators, CPG companies meeting their expectations?

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The survey​ of more than 2,000 registered American voters found 70% of respondents – including 80% of democrats and 59% of republicans – listed recycling as a top priority going into the midterms.

And while 75% Americans on both sides of the aisle are voting with their wallets to support recycling by buying products that come in recyclable packaging and products with packaging made from recycled material, they also expect more from the recycling system at a national level with 55 % lamenting that the current patchwork of nearly 10,000 recycling systems in the US is confusing and 70% saying it hurt recycling rates, according to the survey.

With this in mind, the survey found 58% of voters said they’d prefer to see a federal recycling standard, which 75% — including 81% of democrats and 69% of republicans – said should make it easier for recycling systems to raise attendance rates.

These numbers show consumer commitment to recycling is there, but “the policy isn’t,”​ Consumer Brands Vice President of Packaging Sustainability John Hewitt said in a statement.

He explained a federal recycling standard and uniform definitions would not only help consumers understand what and how to recycle, but it would “enable better decisions on where to make infrastructure and technology improvements to recycling facilities”​ and how to best leverage funding, including from the CPG industry, to make the most meaningful impact.

At FoodNavigator-USA’s upcoming FREE Futureproofing The Food Systemdigital summit Nov. 15-17​, Hewitt will share more insights about how consumers are thinking about recycling and what they expect from the government and industry to increase the sustainability of packaged goods.