Imagine a water bottle that dreams of becoming a pair of jeans, a steel can that hopes to someday be transformed into a bicycle, or a plastic bottle that believes that, one day, it could become a park bench. These are some of the many destinies that could be fulfilled if more Americans took time to do one thing: recycle.
A new public service advertising (PSA) campaign introduced by the Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) aims to inspire the nearly two in three Americans who do not recycle regularly to make recycling a part of their daily lives. Despite increased visibility of public recycling receptacles and increased curbside programs, levels of recycling remain low at less than 35 percent. Check out two of the PSA videos here and here.
The average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash per day and recycles or composts only 1.53 pounds. Think of all the jeans, bicycles and park benches that could be produced if all of that was recycled instead. As a whole, the United States produces approximately 250 million tons of trash each year and recycles and composts just over 87 million tons of this material, according to the U.S. EPA.
The Ad Council first partnered with KAB to address the issue of littering more than four decades ago. The result was Iron Eyes Cody — “The Crying Indian” — one of the most iconic advertising campaigns in American history.
Our new PSAs have a different goal, but one that is just as important: to waste less by recycling more. Our “trash” could go on to live whole new life and serve a valuable purpose, if only more people would give it a chance.
Visit IWantToBeRecycled.org to get a behind-the-scenes look at how trash can be transformed through recycling, to debunk common recycling myths, and to find details about recycling locations near you. You can also find out how to give garbage a new life or learn how many times an aluminum can be recycled into a new aluminum can by following our conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #berecycled or like us on Facebook.