America Recycles Day Survey: Older Generations Leading on Recycling

A new survey finds older generations are more likely to believe that recycling can help the planet and to go out of their way to recycle.

The survey[1] commissioned by Plastics Make It Possible® also finds that older adults are more likely to make a daily habit of recycling. For example, people 60 years and older are 15 percent more likely to recycle daily than millennials. Similarly, 44 percent of people 60 and older say they would walk a long way to recycle rather than trash a plastic bottle—more than any other age group.

Compared to older Americans, millennials typically are less likely to know that common plastics, such as shampoo bottles, yogurt containers, and milk jugs, are recyclable. And the widely held belief that recycling can do some good and help the planet is softer among millennials.

To help bridge the generational gap and inspire more plastics recycling—on America Recycles Day (November 15) and throughout the year—Plastics Make it Possible® today released a video featuring Rudy Mancuso, a popular comedian, musician and online personality who appeals to millennials… and pretty much everyone else. In the funny video called “Wanna Recycle More Plastics? Just Ask Comedian Rudy Mancuso,” Rudy tests people’s knowledge of plastics recycling, surprises people on city streets, and sheds some light on how easy it is to recycle more plastics. The video can be viewed at

In addition, Plastics Make it Possible® launched an America Recycles Day sweepstakes today for a chance to win a suite of innovative products made with recycled plastics.

“We’re thrilled Rudy Mancuso is bringing humor and his unique perspective to show just how easy it is to help the environment by recycling more everyday plastics,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council, which sponsors the Plastics Make It Possible® initiative. “Today, nearly every U.S. household has access to a plastics recycling program, and more and more types of plastics are being accepted for recycling. America Recycles Day is a great day to make a commitment to recycle more plastics.”

Additional highlights from the recent survey include:
•Men are five times more likely than women to say they recycle because their significant other tells them to;
•Northeastern U.S. residents are more likely to recycle on a daily basis than those in other regions, and Southern residents report fewer recycling opportunities; and
•From a tongue-in-cheek survey question, when asked which plastics are recyclable, only three percent chose the Kardashians.
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