A public awareness campaign developed by Keep America Beautiful is receiving prominent display at NPE 2015 as part of the show's overall effort to elevate the importance of recycling at the triennial show.
Every kid is asked what they want to be when they grow up. And that's the hook behind the “I Want to be Recycled” campaign created by KAB.
Dozens of signs are located around the Orange County Convention Center from the campaign that features the aspirations of a singular used water bottle.
Recycling certainly took place at past NPEs, according to Kim Holmes. But the senior director of recycling and division for the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. said there was a desire to push that more into the public's visibility.
“That's something we very much wanted to change this year, especially because we have the Zero Waste Zone and we're talking about all the great potential of recycled plastics. So we wanted to find a way to connect that behavior of attendees back to the Zero Waste Zone,” she said.
“I thought Keep America Beautiful has this great ‘I Want to be Recycled' campaign that does exactly that. It's trying to engage the public and put recycling back into the forefront of their behavior and their thinking,” she said.
Signs are located throughout the show where attendees will be able to recycle their plastics, such as beverage containers, and other recyclables including metal, glass and paper.
Employees of the convention center handle this consumer recycling at the show, which differs from efforts by Commercial Plastic Recyclers Inc. of Tampa, Fla., which is handling the plastic pieces and parts that are coming off of equipment lines during the show.
The convention center itself also has increased its recycling visibility as well, putting out recycling receptacles “so that people see that the material is going to be handled separately rather than all in one container,” Holmes said.
Recycling took place at the last show in Orlando, but attendees were not asked to separate their recyclables from their waste. Recyclables were separated out of site from the show floor.
Lori Campbell, as director of trade show operations at SPI, has been responsible for the creation and deployment of the Keep America Beautiful recycling messaging at the show. The Ad Council, a non-profit group of volunteers from the advertising industry, also helped in the creation of the campaign.
“I think Keep America Beautiful is just an extension of what we are doing as it relates to the recycling of plastics,” she said about SPI's heightened emphasis on the issue.
A video from KAB featuring the “I Want to be Recycled” message also is being incorporated into the Zero Waste Zone, Campbell said.
While the KAB recycling campaign features a variety of items that aspire to a new life, the graphics at NPE will feature a plastic bottle and its simple goal: “I want to be a bench. Recycle me.” And, yes, the plastic bottle is sitting in the grass beside a bench.
“The message of the Keep America Beautiful campaign, which has been very successful in reaching the general public, is right in tune with the emphasis on recycling that will be widespread at NPE 2015,” Holmes said in a statement prior to the show. “You can create the best-designed recycling program in the world, but without public participation you still don't have much of a program.”