Document Type

Honors Thesis


Plastic pollution is a serious problem causing the planet to face irreversible damage. The oceans and air quality are changing for the worse. A substantial amount of research has been conducted on plastic pollution and its effects through the use of scientific studies; however, very little research has been conducted on the impacts of regional knowledge of plastic pollution. In this thesis, a study was conducted that contributed to understanding the relationship between knowledge about plastic pollution and people's recycling habits. This was determined through an online survey using participants from New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The data collected from this survey correlated with people's understanding of plastic pollution and their recycling habits. This study’s data has the potential to contribute to an increase in recycling rates due to its analysis of what contributes to pro-environmental behaviors.

This study also delves into the question of what contributes to people's recycling habits. The opinion-based questions within the survey were analyzed in a way to see how knowledge about plastic pollution impacts recycling rates in different regions of the country, but in doing so a common trend was found between the two states of Rhode Island and New Hampshire. That trend was the overall effects of convenience and accessibility to pro-environmental tools, such as recycling plants and trucks, which were the main contributors to recycling habits between the two states. Further research was then conducted to see why Rhode Island residents seemed to recycle more. That research exhibited a substantial amount of evidence showing how important easy and accessible recycling tools are to increasing pro-environmental behaviors.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.