SCRC looks under the lid for steel can recycling insights

Monday, 12 December, 2005

The Steel Can Recycling Council is enjoying not only a commendable steel can recycling rate of 56%, but thanks to a raft of research undertaken during 2004/05, it is much better informed about consumer behaviour and brandowner involvement in recycling education.

To better understand consumer awareness and attitudes, and ultimately behaviour with regard to steel can recycling, the SCRC commissioned Roy Morgan research to undertake qualitative research in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. In addition, the Steel Can Recycling Council got involved in a number of bin audits to determine which types of cans are commonly being recycled and those that repeatedly get relegated to the waste bin.

Results were interesting and encouraging, and revealed that while steel can recycling awareness is still lagging behind other packaging materials, awareness has increased 11% since 2000, with 82% of respondents now saying they know steel cans are recyclable. Also, those that said they never put steel cans out for recycling has declined by 10% since 2000, with only 13% of respondents never recycling steel cans. However, bin audits revealed that many people, while aware of the recyclability of steel cans, are still preferring to put certain types in the garbage. Aerosols and cans with more viscous contents, such as meat, dairy and fish, are those that are more commonly found in the garbage while those with dry and wet contents are more readily recycled.

Where do consumers get their recycling information?

Sometimes it is from the pack but supermarket aisle research has revealed only 19% of the top three brandowners across all categories carry a recycling logo. However, 60% of major brandowners (those with more than 20 products as SKU level) use the 'recyclable steel' logo as recommended by the SCRC and if you are a purchaser of baked beans, soup, tinned spaghetti or fruit you are likely to be better educated than if you buy canned fish or household or personal care products.

Currently consumers get much of their recycling information from Council (67%), the packaging (57%), friends (15%) and the internet (7%).

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