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Consumer-generated videos bring fresh ideas to increase participation in recycling


What do a myth-busting 4-year old, a bathroom in which personal care products come to life, a talking pizza box and three teenagers with a Ouija board have in common? They are among the fresh ideas submitted by consumers to help increase awareness of and participation in recycling across America.

Keep America Beautiful and The Ad Council today announced the winners of its “I Want To Be Recycled” video contest, conducted in association with Zooppa, the global social community of creative talent. The contest asked crafty recyclers to create and submit videos about how to “give your garbage another life” through recycling. The contest is an extension of the “I Want To Be Recycled” Public Service Advertising (PSA) campaign, which was launched by Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council in 2013.

The contest challenged participants to illustrate the importance of recycling in their own voice through one of three topics: Upcycling Made Beautiful, Recycling Mythbusters and Recycling Community Stars. Winning videos were selected by a panel of judges from the Ad Council, Keep America Beautiful and Zooppa. Videos will be prominently featured and shared through Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council communications and social channels. Winners will share in a cash prize pool of $25,000.

Overall Winners:

  • 1st Place: Potty Talk – The members of the bathroom family discuss the pros and cons of letting a recycling bin move in.
  • 2nd Place: Urban Myths – On a dark and stormy night, three teenage girls gather to share stories of recycling gone wrong… but are they just tall tales? Only the Ouija board knows for sure.
  • 3rd Place: Let’s Make Soap – The story of Samir Lakhani, a 22-year-old Pittsburgh student and his creation, EcoSoap Bank, an organization that acquires and recycles leftover soap from hotels, and puts it into the hands of people in other countries who otherwise would have no access to the most essential form of hygiene.
  • 4th Place: Pizza Box – A talking Pizza Box makes it clear that it doesn’t want to be thrown in the trash and dreams of having another life after being recycled.

Category Winners:

  • Upcycling Made Beautiful: Did You Guys Hear About John? – John’s “friends” in the bathroom give him a tough time when he dreams of becoming a hairbrush in his next life.
  • Recycling Mythbusters: It’s My World – It’s important that we know what we can recycle and put the myths to rest. This video lets us know what we can recycle and explains that it is Our World.
  • Recycling Community Stars: Saving Old Growth Lumber – Detroit’s Workshop makes furniture out of deconstructed homes that would usually be headed to a landfill. Kevin Borsay and James Willer are building a sustainable business that looks at recycling as an economic advantage, both creating jobs and beautifying blighted neighborhoods.

Early Entry Winners:

  • 1st Place: Closing the Loop – Drew Lamb, an entrepreneur and hardcore recycler from Southern Oregon, shows us how important it is to “close the loop” and maximize efficiency in operations, and in the process he dispels the silly—but unfortunately, all too common—notion that recycling is, “just for hippies.” Because the truth is that recycling can be an extremely business-savvy decision.
  • 2nd Place: Ask Kaitlynn – Four-year old Kaitlynn, who recently learned about recycling in her Pre-K classroom, busts some myths in her very own talk show, Ask Kaitlynn.

The “I Want To Be Recycled” campaign educates Americans and encourages them to recycle more, recycle right and help them to make recycling a part of everyday life. The latest phase of the campaign, which launched in March 2015, encourages the recycling of personal care products in the bathroom with brand new ads created pro bono by agency Pereira & O’Dell highlighting what these products can become upon recycling. Check out the latest PSAs here and here. The campaign, which has generated nearly $90 million in donated media to date, directs consumers to IWantToBeRecycled.org, which includes comprehensive resources on recycling and an interactive game. The website offers information on which products to recycle, how to recycle products and what the products could potentially transform into when recycled properly. The site also includes infographics and detailed information on how to find a recycling facility nearby for a wide array of product categories. Learn more at IWantToBeRecycled.org.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015.