As part of our research and development of Fishbone, we conducted a focus group and asked consumers about recycling.
The results were ... confusing!
We asked participants a range of questions related to sustainability and packaging. One question we asked was "Do you recycle?" The answers were an honest mix between "Yes" and "No."
We also had them look at different beverage packaging options and asked them which they thought was recyclable. Most participants were uncertain. Plastic and paperboard seemed equally recyclable OR unrecyclable. The general feedback from this question showed us that there is a lot of confusion about what is actually recyclable.
There was some clarity among this focus group, too.
Another question we posed to the group was a multiple choice option asking their thought on "What is the most important change for the future of packaging?" In this category, there was very little confusion.
The majority of participants felt that the choice for "Using Less Plastic" was clearly the most important change. We agree that this is such an important change for the packaging industry (See: The Case Against Single Use Plastics).
Confronting the Reality of Recycling
It's so helpful to understand the consumer perspective and experience when it comes to recycling. Through this focus group, we know that we're starting from a place of confusion. So we have a great opportunity to help educate and to help improve the recycling process.
And as we embark on this journey of reducing plastic and improving sustainability in the packaging industry, we feel good knowing that, regardless of recycling, Fishbone carriers contain zero plastic, are biodegradable, and 88% of the material will decompose in 12 weeks as our tests have shown.
So you can feel good, too, knowing that these paperboard carriers won't stick around polluting our environment long after their job is done. They deliver on performance during their lifespan and then will break down naturally in case they don't make it to your curbside recycling bin.