Plastics Make it Possible® Says: Buy Recycled

Washington, D.C. (November 15, 2012)—A new national survey released today on America Recycles Day finds most Americans feeling less than confident that they’re doing enough to help the environment—and many say they don’t really know how.

Only 37 percent of Americans in the survey say they’re “doing enough for the environment,” and less than half (46 percent) say they are “knowledgeable about what it takes to be eco-friendly in my daily life.” Two thirds of Americans say they would like to learn some simple steps that help the planet.

Plastics Make it Possible®, which commissioned the survey by Kelton Research for America Recycles Day, offers one simple approach: buy recycled.

“It’s never been easier to recycle in America, especially the plastic bottles, caps and containers that we use every day,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council, which sponsors the Plastics Make it Possible® initiative. “And today there are lots of opportunities to close the recycling loop by purchasing products made with recycled materials, such as plastics.”

The good news is that almost all Americans now have access to recycling—and more than 90 percent say they recycle in their daily lives, according to the survey. However, the next part of the recycling loop—looking for products made with recycled materials—is not as widespread. With the holiday retail season upon us, only 28 percent say they will look for gifts this year made with recycled materials, according to the survey.

“Recycling keeps valuable materials out of the landfill so they can become new products,” Russell said. “But the next step is just as important—by seeking out everyday products and holiday gifts made with recycled materials, consumers close the recycling loop and create demand for even more recycling.”

Recycled plastics, for example, are used to make a wide range of consumer goods, such as clothing, kitchenware, and garden tools, that can make great eco-friendly gifts. In 2012 the company REPREVE® turned nearly one billion plastic bottles into yarn and fabrics used to make items for companies such as Patagonia, LK Life Khaki and Ford. The number and kinds of products made with recycled plastics is growing dramatically as plastic recycling expands.

While the survey finds that many Americans may not know how to be eco-friendly, most are doing at least something to find out—more than three quarters (78 percent) say they have taken some action to learn more about which products are collected for recycling in their community.

For more information on the survey, please contact Jennifer Killinger (202) 249-6619; email:

For a chance to win a Patagonia jacket made with REPREVE® recycled-plastic yarn, visit the Plastics Make it Possible® Facebook page at

For more information about plastics recycling, visit

About Plastics Make it Possible®

Plastics Make it Possible® highlights the many ways plastics inspire innovations that improve our lives, solve big problems, and help us design a safer, more promising future. This initiative is sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council. For more information, visit, check out our Facebook page and follow us @plasticpossible on twitter at

Survey Methodology

The Plastics Make it Possible®Survey was conducted between October 16 and October 22, 2012, using

an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.

About Kelton Research

Kelton is a leading global insights firm serving as a partner to more than 100 of the Fortune 500 and thousands of smaller companies and organizations. Utilizing a wide range of customized, innovative research techniques and staff expertise in marketing, branding, PR, media, and business strategy, Kelton helps drive our clients’ businesses forward.

REPREVE® is a registered trademark of Unifi, Inc.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people’s lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $760 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation’s economy. It is the largest exporting sector in the U.S., accounting for 12 percent of U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.