Today’s Solutions: November 28, 2023

We don’t mean to bring on the negativity, but US recycling rates are abysmal. About 75% of American waste is recyclable, yet just 30% of it is actually recycled. The figures are even worse with materials like plastic. Less than 10% of plastics disposed of in the U.S. in 2015 were recycled.

In a quest to find a way to motivate Americans to recycle more, consumer psychologists tried to change the message used to promote recycling; rather than guilt-tripping consumers, the psychologists altered the message to focus on the transformation into a useful product that a piece of waste could have when recycled properly. After all, by definition, recyclable is a product that has future use.

After conducting a series of studies that applied this idea both in the lab and the real world, the psychologists found consumers were far more likely to recycle after seeing transformational messages. In fact, one of the studies found participants were more likely to recycle at a rate of about 80 percent. Emphasizing what people’s recyclable waste can become is a very simple messaging tweak, but it’s one that research shows can make a big difference.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

The EU makes historic decision to stop plastic waste exports to poor countries

The European Union took an important step toward reducing plastic pollution by agreeing to stop exporting waste plastic to non-OECD countries. This landmark decision, ...

Read More

Recovering from family gatherings: your essential guide to recharge and reset

A flurry of family visits might leave you reeling and wondering, "What just happened?" The intensity of spending time with family may be emotionally ...

Read More

How your body and mind can benefit from dark chocolate

For more than 3,000 years, chocolate has been used for its healing properties. Flash forward to today, and scientists are finding scientific evidence for ...

Read More

World’s first hydrogen-powered cargo vessel to set sail in Paris this year

In a world's first, a commercial hydrogen-powered cargo vessel will make its maiden voyage later this year. Developed by French shipowner Compagnie Fluvial Transport ...

Read More