Futureproofing the Food System: Voters are prioritizing recycling – but are legislators, CPG companies meeting their expectations?

By Elizabeth Crawford contact

- Last updated on GMT

Futureproofing the Food System: Voters are prioritizing recycling – but are legislators, CPG companies meeting their expectations?

Related tags: Futureproofing the food system, Recycling, Sustainability, Plastic, Coca-cola company, Consumer Brands Association, Unmetered

At a time when American voters seem more divided than ever on key political issues, they are coming together around the need for a simpler, more effective recycling system to reduce their environmental footprint – a sentiment that supports regulatory and industry reform, according to a new poll released by the Consumer Brands Association and Ipsos.

The survey​ of more than 2,000 registered American voters found 70% of respondents – including 80% of democrats and 59% of republicans – listed recycling as a top priority going into the midterms.

And while 75% Americans on both sides of the aisle are voting with their wallets to support recycling by buying products that come in recyclable packaging and products with packaging made from recycled material, they also expect more from the recycling system at a national level with 55% lamenting that the current patchwork of nearly 10,000 recycling systems in the US is confusing and 70% saying it hurt recycling rates, according to the survey.

With this in mind, the survey found 58% of voters said they’d prefer to see a federal recycling standard, which 75% -- including 81% of democrats and 69% of republicans – said should make it easier for recycling systems to raise participation rates.

These numbers show consumer commitment to recycling is there, but “the policy isn’t,”​ Consumer Brands Vice President of Packaging Sustainability John Hewitt said in a statement.

He explained a federal recycling standard and uniform definitions would not only help consumers understand what and how to recycle, but it would “enable better decisions on where to make infrastructure and technology improvements to recycling facilities”​ and how to best leverage funding, including from the CPG industry, to make the most meaningful impact.

At FoodNavigator-USA’s upcoming FREE Futureproofing The Food System​ digital summit Nov. 15-17​, Hewitt will share more insights about how consumers are thinking about recycling and what they expect from the government and industry to increase the sustainability of packaged goods.

During the panel Sustainable Packaging … from Recyclable to Compostable to Re-Usable to Edible Packaging​ at 12 CT on Nov. 17, moderated by Elizabeth ​Crawford, deputy editor, FoodNavigator-USA, ​Hewit will be joined by Christine Yeager,​ director of sustainability at The Coca-Cola Company​, Sadrah Schadel, CEO and co-founder of No Evil Foods​, and Anne Greven​, global head of FoodBytes! By Rabobank ​to discuss what progress the industry is making on reducing the environmental impact of food packaging and what needs to change within the industry or at a regulatory level to make this happen.

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY: What does sustainable sourcing really mean? (11 am to 1 pm CT Nov. 17)

REGISTER HERE

PANEL: The Climate Smart Roadmap..

Pretty much every food & beverage brand now makes some kind of appeal to the consumer about its green credentials, spanning everything from ‘carbon-neutral’ and ‘sustainably-sourced’ to ‘climate-friendly,’ ‘water-positive,’ ‘regeneratively-farmed’ and ‘zero-waste.’ But how do industry buyers – and consumers – assess these claims, make meaningful comparisons between products in the same category, and stay alert to the ever-present threat of greenwashing?

Andrew Utterback, ​senior manager of sustainability, Ingredion Incorporated

Jeremiah McElwee​, chief merchandising officer, Thrive Market

Joao Brites​, director, growth and innovation, HowGood

Matthew Hayek​, professor, department of environmental studies, New York University

Moderator: Elaine Watson, ​senior editor, FoodNavigator-USA

PRESENTATION by Ingredion Incorporated: Decoding Brand Sustainability with Regenerative Agriculture

Presentation by Andrew Utterback​, senior manager of sustainability at Ingredion Incorporated

PANEL: Sustainable Packaging… from Recyclable to Compostable to Re-Usable to Edible Packaging

What progress is the industry making on reducing the environmental impact of food packaging and what needs to change within the industry or at a regulatory level to make this happen?

Anne Greven,​ global head, FoodBytes! By Rabobank

Christine Yeager​, director of sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company

John Hewitt​, vice president of packaging sustainability, Consumer Brands Association

Sadrah Schadel​, CEO and co-founder, No Evil Foods

MODERATOR: Elizabeth Crawford​, deputy editor, FoodNavigator-USA

To find out more about this FREE event​, ​​which is sponsored by EpiCor postbiotic (Cargill)​​​, IFF​​​, Ingredion​​​, Cargill​​​, and FoodBytes! By Rabobank​​​, Amano Enzyme​​​, Evergrain (ABInBev)​​​, Spoonshot​​​, and Exberry by GNT​​,​​ and supported by Oat Vita​​​, click on the links below:

Related events

View more

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars