Skip to content

72% of Americans are likely to purchase products in packaging that is easily recycled or reused

Less than two-in-five adults are completely confident they are recycling correctly

NEW YORK, August 10, 2021 – Although recycling is considered a routine practice for a more sustainable future, less than two-in-five Americans say they are completely confident they are recycling correctly at home. This data comes from a new survey by SK Group that polled 1,500 U.S. adults in May to gauge attitudes about sustainable packaging.

Additionally, the results highlight how nearly three-quarters (72%) of Americans are likely to give preference to products that use packaging that can be easily recycled or reused. However, 42 percent said they were not aware that some recyclable containers, such as plastic bottles, cannot be recycled unless you first remove labeling and other packaging materials. This data reinforces the growing sentiment across the nation to reduce waste as part of an emphasis on environmentally friendly practices by both businesses and consumers.

Recycling Release Infographic DRAFT

“We have a clear opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of product packaging by adopting solutions that make it easier to recycle and reuse materials,” said Bob Cowley, vice president sales and marketing at SKC Inc. “Consumers are hungry for eco-friendly products that reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint. As a responsible packaging manufacturer, our job is to develop recycle-friendly products that break the cycle of single-use plastics and extend the life of packaging.”

Key findings from SK Group’s U.S. sustainable packaging survey include:

  • Less than two-in-five (38%) adults say they are completely confident they are recycling correctly at home.
  • Three-quarters (72%) of Americans are likely to give preference to products that use packaging that can be easily recycled or reused in new packages or products.
  • When it comes to younger generations, the focus on sustainable packaging is even greater – 74% of those ages 18-34 say they are likely to purchase one product over another based on the product being eco-friendly.
  • Across generations, 9-in-10 respondents believe that school aged children should be taught to recycle responsibly.

SK Group, a South Korea-based organization with U.S. operations in more than 10 states, has made sustainability central to its global growth plans. SK companies have made significant investments in the U.S. in renewable energy, recycling and advanced semiconductor materials that make electronics more efficient including developing new ways to meet evolving consumer desires and creating more long-term, sustainable packaging solutions. Among them is Ecolabel™, the first Shrink Sleeve Label (SSL) developed by SKC that is compatible with the PET bottle recycling stream.

According to a report from The City College of New York, nearly 300 million tons of solid waste a year is generated in the U.S. with the number continuing to rise as the population grows. The survey identified the desire for education around recycling for young people and clarification on how to recycle properly. The technology around recycling has evolved alongside the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions to curb climate change and create social value while addressing consumers’ sustainability concerns.

SK Group was a founding member of the Value Balancing Alliance, a group of companies working on globally accepted standards by which social value can be quantified, measured and compared. SK Group companies also were the first South Korean businesses to join the Climate Group’s RE100, a group of global companies committed to moving toward 100% renewable energy.

About SK

Based in Seoul, South Korea, SK Group is a collection of diverse multi-national manufacturing and service companies united under a holding company structure that share a common SK Brand and Corporate Culture. Ranked by Fortune among the world’s 100 largest businesses, SK Group companies are global leaders in semiconductors, telecommunications, energy and life sciences. SK hynix is the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, SK Innovation is Korea’s largest energy firm and a global leader in EV battery technology, and SK Telecom is Korea’s largest mobile communications provider and the first provider in the world to have 5G subscribers. SK is committed to building environmentally sustainable businesses that help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy. SK companies combined have $119 billion in annual global revenue and more than 100,000 employees worldwide. SK is investing more than $10 billion in expanding its U.S. businesses with operations or partnerships in hydrogen energy and fuel cells, EV battery manufacturing and technology, energy storage solutions, pharmaceutical manufacturing and development, advanced semiconductor materials, and new mobility solutions. For more information on SK, visit http://www.sk.com/.

More News

For the Press

U.S. Media Contact

Joe Guy Collier
347-899-1587 Tel
joeguycollier@sk.com

Press Kit

General information and other materials are available for members of the media. Download our media fact sheet.