These Are the Best and Worst States at Recycling (and Why), According to This Study
It's no secret that the United States' recycling system is far from perfect, largely due to insufficient government surveillance, varying state rules, and low consumer recycling education. As a result, within the same country there are striking disparities: take that of Maine's 72 percent recycling rate and West Virginia's recycling rate of only 2 percent.
Environmental consultancy agency Eunomia released a first-of-its kind study in collaboration with Ball Corporation, presenting a comparative state-by-state assessment of recycling rates for common containers and packaging materials (CCPM), including plastic, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, aluminum, and steel cans. The results aren't all that shocking: Overall, our recycling habits are in poor shape.
For the study, Eunomia, a U.K.-based, independent research company, assessed the 2018 across-board recycling rates for CCPM to determine production, recycling, and disposal rates on a pound per-capita basis. These are the most recent research results available stateside. And with the booming online shopping culture only amplified by the pandemic, it's likely these findings have been exacerbated in the past year.