In their study, “Recycling Gone Bad: When the Option to Recycle Increases Resource Consumption,” researchers Jesse R. Catlin and Yitong Wang conducted two simple experiments to prove their hypothesis – that the ability to recycle may lead to increased resource usage compared to when a recycling option is not available.
In the first experiment, participants were separated into two groups. Both groups were told to test a new brand of scissors using blank pieces of paper. One group had a recycling bin and trash bin in their room and the other group had only a trash bin. Participants were then instructed to cut a series of shapes out from the paper and then to take five minutes to evaluate the scissors in any way they deemed fit.
The group that had a recycling bin at in their room used more paper to test the scissors than the group without the bin. Continue reading