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ATLANTA -- The American Beverage Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association/Food Products Association, and the International Bottled Water Association today joined the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) here in a groundbreaking public-private partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rekindle American consumers' interest in recycling by providing 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 NRC executive director Kate Krebs in a statement. "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."
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NRC, EPA, and the industry groups are the 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," continued Krebs. "Many of these campaigns were effective in creating awareness about recycling. However, our current research 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 partnership's first aims will be the development and dissemination of consumer-friendly recycling icons and accurate, standardized recycling terminology to use in product advertising and labeling.
"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," said FMI president and c.e.o. Tim Hammonds.
"This partnership is dedicated to taking our nation's recycling effort to a new level of success, and demonstrates the commitment of each of the partners to environmental sustainability," added GMA/FPA c.e.o. and president-elect Cal Dooley.
The collaboration was revealed this morning during the opening plenary session of NRC's 25th Annual Congress & Expo, an educational and networking conference on recycling, held this year in Atlanta through Oct. 25.
Since it was founded in 1978, NRC's objective has been to eliminate waste and promote sustainable economies through advancing sound management practices for raw materials in North America.