The free-market doctrine does not rest on an assumption that consumers make wise choices. Like the mythical “economic man,” the Perfectly Wise Individual is a straw man created by the critics of the theory.
Recycling isn't free. It requires the use of time and resources, many of which end up wasted. But politicians keep insisting that recycling is always a win-win, even though we have many examples to the contrary.
Other psychic factors being equal, it is to everyone's self-interest to maximize his monetary income on the market. But this maximum income can then be used for either “selfish” or for “altruistic” ends.
Anti-capitalists love to claim that consumers don't really have free choice — that advertisers and peers really dictate to others what they should buy. In truth, consumers choose freely, but use others to filter information and simplify the process.