National Recycling Coalition (NRC, Atlanta) announced an historic partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and major food and beverage manufacturers and suppliers to re-ignite American consumers’ interest in recycling. It plans to provide clear, consistent information on what, how and why to recycle.
“This partnership is an unprecedented gathering of recycling advocates, leading trade associations and government agencies that will breathe new life into the recycling movement,” said Kate Krebs, NRC’s executive director.
Speaking at the association’s 25th annual conference, Kerbs said, “Although many private and public sector organizations communicate with consumers about recycling now, sometimes consumers get mixed messages about how and what to recycle. This new campaign will coordinate those independent activities, combine financial resources, and leverage the vast marketing power of all of the campaign’s partners to encourage consumers and private companies to recycle more.”
NRC, EPA, the American Beverage Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association/Food Products Association and the International Bottled Water Association, which combined represent the manufacturers and suppliers of America’s most popular brands, serve as founding members of the partnership.
“For decades, organizations have used a variety of recycling icons, standards and advertising campaigns to stimulate consumer and corporate recycling,” said Krebs. “Many of these campaigns were effective in creating awareness about recycling. Our current research, however, shows that Americans have lost their sense of urgency about recycling. They aren’t always sure about how or what to recycle. This campaign will remind Americans why recycling is as important as ever, and take our nation’s recycling participation to the next level.” The campaign is one part of a broader strategy NRC is developing to expand recycling in the U.S.
One of the first tasks of the partnership will be the development and dissemination of consumer-friendly recycling icons (such as the familiar chasing arrows symbol) and accurate and standardized recycling terminology for use in product advertising and product labeling.
"EPA believes that environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "By restarting the nation’s recycling engine, EPA and our partners are transforming our throw-away culture into a recycling culture."
“Given our long involvement in recycling issues, we saw the need for a new initiative to support comprehensive recycling efforts,” said Susan K. Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association. “ABA is proud to be a partner in this innovative and progressive coalition that is working together to reinvigorate recycling in America and further protect our environment.”
“We believe that this campaign to redefine the well-known chasing arrows symbol is an important step in helping consumers understand how they can recycle more of what they buy at the supermarket,” added Tim Hammonds, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute.