Recycling presents a unique challenge for both company and consumer. Although 74 percent of Americans say recycling is important and should be made a priority, 62 percent worry a lack of knowledge is causing them to recycle incorrectly. Research shows that knowledge gap does exist, with over half (53%) of respondents erroneously believing greasy pizza boxes can be recycled. Now, one company is taking a unique approach to not only educate young people on recycling habits, but make it the fun and cool thing to do.
This week, PepsiCo announced a partnership with Diary of A Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney to encourage kids to recycle more. The “Be Awesome! Recycle!” campaign is inspired by the internationally bestselling children’s book series and will focus on school children in grades K-12. The effort supports PepsiCo’s overall Recycle Rally program by providing schools with recycling resources and incentives featuring Wimpy Kid character Rowley Jefferson embodying the idea that “awesome kids care.” Kinney designed a special cartoon to show kids the importance of recycling and that it’s “a behavior that is celebrated among their peers.” Tom Mooradian, senior manager of Environmental Sustainability at PepsiCo explains the approach focused on positivity and peer encouragement, "By incorporating the Wimpy Kid world into this year's campaign, we're aiming to showcase recycling behaviors in a fun, relatable way that will enable today's students to see recycling in a whole new light and make it a gratifying part of their daily lives."
With a nation-wide recycling rate of just 34 percent, it’s clear we still have a lot of work to do to recycle more. And although consumers are the ones ultimately tossing in the green bin, companies have a responsibility to better engage and educate consumers to make the right choices. PepsiCo’s latest campaign helps to embed good recycling habits from a young age, making it a seamless part of their daily routine.