One-Third of Holiday Shoppers Will Choose Green and Give the Gift of Recycling

U.S. and Canadian Survey: Over 44 Million1 Used Cordless Devices Potentially Diverted from Landfills This Holiday Season

C2R426-Infographic-Harris-Holiday-Poll-2013-12 13 13a1 (2)

ATLANTA, December 12, 2013—Holiday shoppers’ plans for disposal of old cordless products—specifically those being replaced by new holiday purchases—lands Americans and Canadians on the “Nice List,” according to results of a survey released today. Proper disposal through recycling, donating or passing along of pre-owned items to family or friends reduces the impact on local landfills during the holidays, a period when household waste in both the U.S.2and Canada3 is known to increase.

The study was commissioned by Call2Recycle®, North America’s first and largest consumer battery recycling program, and conducted online by Harris Interactive® among adults (aged 18 and over) in both the U.S. and Canada in October.  It reveals that American and Canadians respondents (combined) plan to give their used gadgets new life after their holiday shopping is complete:

  • 32% will recycle them
  • 30% will pass them on to family and friends
  • 21% will sell them
  • 20% will donate them

Disposal Behaviors for the “Naughty List”
There are some consumers, however, who may contribute to the increased amounts of waste associated with the holiday season, potentially resulting in 13 million4 cordless products that will simply be thrown away. The poll found that two in ten (20%) American and Canadian respondents (combined) who will purchase new cordless devices to replace existing ones will hoard or save their originals for later. More than one in ten (13%) of the respondents intend to throw away their used electronics, which harms the environment.

“Responsible disposal of electronics is vital during the holidays especially since the hottest tech gadgets —many powered by rechargeable batteries—are such popular gifts,” said Call2Recycle Inc. CEO and President, Carl Smith. “In Canada and the U.S., where 72% of new products are being purchased as replacements for used ones, it’s important to responsibly reuse or recycle the old products so that they don’t make their way into our landfills.”

“Green-ing” the Holidays: Americans and Canadians Differ in Approach
Slightly more U.S. consumers will use non-traditional methods of recycling used products than Canadian consumers: 32% of Americans will pass their old gadgets along to family and friends while 28% of Canadians will choose this option. Twenty-three percent of Americans will sell the old items as will 19% of Canadians. There is very little difference when it comes to those who plan on donating their old devices: 20% in the U.S. and 19% in Canada.

The survey also found that Canadians are more likely to do a better job in one area studied: 38% will recycle their previous models, while only 29% of their southern counterparts will choose this option.

“Recycling has become an important part of Canadian culture,” stated Executive Director of Call2Recycle Canada Joe Zenobio.  “With several provinces mandating participation and other provinces making positive strides towards increased participation, recycling is becoming instilled in the daily routines of citizens.”

Recycling behaviors and trends may be evolving regardless of season or national borders. A 2012 IPSOS poll5 commissioned by Call2Recycle found that Canadians recycled more batteries and cellphones than Americans: 47% U.S. and 55% Canada recycled batteries and/or cellphones in the past year (2011-2012).

Call2Recycle offers an easy and free way to care for the environment year-round through battery recycling. Call2Recycle works with a network of businesses, communities and retailers in the U.S. and Canada—including RadioShack, The Source, London Drugs, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy, Rona and Staples—that serve as voluntary drop-off locations. Participating collection sites can be found at

Additional Findings
The survey also identified U.S. and Canadian shopping trends for several personal electronics powered by rechargeable batteries. When asked which they are most likely to purchase by the end of 2013, respondents selected:

  • Mobile phone:  44% (U.S. – 46%, Canada – 41%)
  • Tablets: 40% (U.S. – 42%, Canada – 37%)
  • Laptop computer: 32% (U.S. – 32%, Canada – 31%)
  • Cordless grooming devices: 27% (U.S.- 27%, Canada – 27%)
  • Cordless power tools: 25% (U.S.- 26%, Canada – 24%)
  • Cordless home appliances: 18% (U.S.- 19%, Canada – 17%)
  • Other: 13% (U.S. -11%, Canada -17%)

Survey Methodology – U.S. & Canada
This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Call2Recycle both within the U.S. via its QuickQuery product from Oct. 23-25, 2013 among 2,016 adults ages 18 and older and in Canada via its Global Omnibus product from Oct. 22-28, 2013 among 1,127 adults age 18 and older. These online surveys are not based on a probability samples and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. In each country, the data were weighted to reflect the composition of the general adult population. Where combined percentages are noted, these are not weighted, just mathematical averages calculated from each individual countries’ results.

1 Estimated with U.S. and Canadiancensus data and survey findings: 72% of respondents who will be replacing at least one rechargeable device with a newly purchased one this holiday season = 101.8M devices. 44% of these will exclusively recycle, donate or pass along their old devices = 44.8M devices.

2 U.S. holiday waste figures: EPA

3 Canadian holiday waste figures: Regional District of Nanaimo,

4 Estimated with U.S. and Canadian census data and survey findings: 72% of respondents who will be replacing at least one rechargeable device with a newly purchased one this holiday season = 101.8M devices. 13% will throw away old devices = 13.2M devices

5 IPSOS “Green Guilt” Poll

  Related Posts