By 2012, recycling programs existed in about 60 percent of American communities; yet recycling rates were still surprisingly low.
In fact, only 34.5 percent of the 251 million tons of trash Americans generated that year was recycled or composted. And in an Ad Council survey, 62 percent of Americans admitted they were not avid recyclers.
To improve these rates, the Ad Council teamed up with Keep America Beautiful and San Francisco-based ad agency Pereira & O’Dell to launch the I Want To Be Recycled campaign. This playful–and powerful–campaign personifies everyday recyclable objects, allowing plastic bottles, steel cans and more to share their dreams of a different life.
For example, in one PSA, a plastic bottle dreams of seeing the ocean, only to later become a plastic bench overlooking the water. In an outdoor ad, a steel can confesses it wants to be a bike. An interactive game, Super Sorter, at the campaign website showcases recycled items' journeys to becoming something new.
“This campaign is the emotional push needed to raise awareness and positively change people’s behavior to recycle more. Our intent is to increase recycling rates,which translates into measurable benefits including waste reduction, energy savings, natural resource conservation and job creation,” said Brenda Pulley, Keep America Beautiful senior vice president. “Based on survey feedback, we know people want to recycle. This campaign is designed to tap into that desire as well as provide helpful tools to make recycling easier.”
Indeed, visitors to the campaign website can access many tools to learn more about becoming better recyclers. They can locate nearby recycling facilities, learn to separate recycling facts from myths, and easily share information with their social communities on Twitter and Facebook.