Drowning In Plastic? Here’s What Americans Are Doing

The U.S. is one of the leading generators of plastic waste. The country has also been accused of blocking international efforts to limit plastic pollution. Could this be because of a lack of political will, or is the American public unconcerned as well? Piplsay (powered by Market Cube) polled 45,707 Americans to find out. Political parties, brands, as well as retailers, can leverage this data in their decision making. For an in-depth analysis, download the full document here.

Americans use a lot of plastic in their everyday lives. So much so, that we are currently the third-largest producers of plastic waste globally. At the same time, however, awareness about plastic pollution is at an all-time high. Piplsay polled 45,707 Americans to know what they are doing about this massive problem. We also compared their responses with respondents from Canada and the UK. Here’s a summary of what we found.

Other Insights

  • A total of 72% of women and 69% of men in America have reduced the dependence on plastics
  • Men prefer recycling, while women go for reusable bags more often
  • About 65% of Gen Zers have reduced their plastic usage, the lowest amongst all age groups
  • Millennials and Gen Zers are also more willing to pay for eco-friendly alternatives
  • Asian-Americans have reduced their plastic usage the most (80%), followed by white Americans (71%) and
    African-Americans (64%)
  • Residents of Idaho and Wyoming are the most conscious about their plastic usage
  • Delaware residents (81%) are most willing to pay for eco-friendly alternatives, while South Dakota
    residents (62%) are the most unwilling

Saying ‘NO’ To Plastic

When asked if they have reduced the use of plastic in their day-to-day lives, a whopping 67% of Americans replied that they have, even if to a small extent. People in Canada and the UK, however, are more pro-active, with over 80% of them reducing their plastic usage. Some, however, may not be doing so voluntarily and could be under the influence of a family member or significant other who is against the use of plastic.

Surprisingly, in all the three countries, baby boomers are taking the lead in fighting plastic pollution, followed closely by millennials

Though a majority of Americans consider recycling to be very effective in reducing plastic waste, only 27% of them segregate plastic waste at their homes regularly. Canada and the UK fare better, with at least seven in ten people taking recycling seriously.

On the other hand, a good 25% of Americans have cut back on buying plastic products and food packed in plastic packaging. This has also led to several  plastic alternatives flooding the markets. Though fewer in number, refilling stations are also becoming quite popular, with about 44% of Americans finding them as effective as recycling stations.

Eco-friendly Brands Matter!

Today, brands are going all out to project themselves as environmentally conscious. That’s not surprising, considering that about 45% of Americans actively want to associate themselves with eco-friendly brands. That’s not all. About 3 in 10 Americans also think that brands are responsible for eliminating plastic waste.

With a whopping 67% of Americans willing to pay extra for eco-friendly alternatives, brands may not have to think too hard about going green.

Survey Methodology: This Piplsay survey (powered by Market Cube) was conducted nationwide in the US, UK, and Canada in the month of December 2019. We received 45,707, 4630, and 4832 responses respectively from individuals aged 18 years and older

For deeper insights, download the detailed research report here

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