Many dairy products retail in cartons, cups and other formats designed to be recyclable. But even though Americans indicate they are still recycling these and other containers, they have little confidence that their recyclables actually get recycled, according to a new national poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy on behalf of the Denton, Texas-based Carton Council.

The Carton Council has been working over the past 10 years to not only increase carton recycling access, but also work with the recycling industry to help facilities and communities get the most out of carton recycling. This includes support and guidance on the best ways to sort food and beverage cartons, as well as assistance in educating residents that cartons can be recycled and turned into new products.

“We commissioned this research to better understand the impact, if any, on consumers’ attitudes and behavior surrounding recycling,” said Carla Fantoni, vice president of communications for the Carton Council. “It is reassuring to see a commitment to recycling, even when consumers are unsure of what happens to the materials. This reinforces that we, as an industry, need to work together to ensure recycling is actually occurring and show consumers what happens to the recyclables after they leave their curbs, removing their skepticism.”


That’s the percentage of all respondents who say they recycle.



That’s the percentage of all respondents who say they do not believe the materials they offer for recycling are actually being recycled.



That’s the percentage of all respondents who say they are unsure about what happens to the materials they recycle.



That’s the percentage of 18- to 34-year-old respondents who say they recycle. As age increases, support for recycling decreases slightly, with 89% of 35- to 49-year-olds, 87% of 50- to 64-year-olds and 68% of those 65 and older reporting they recycle.