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NR 2002-17
April 15, 2002

Contact: Carol Dahmen
Mark Oldfield
Don Drysdale
Ed Wilson
(916) 323-1886

CALIFORNIA’S BEVERAGE CONTAINER RECYCLING CAMPAIGN
WINS GRAND PRIZE

It’s Good for the Bottle. It’s Good for the Can. It’s Great for California.


Sacramento – The Department of Conservation’s beverage container recycling outreach campaign, featuring the tagline "Recycle. It's Good for the Bottle. It's Good for the Can.", won two top honors at the State Information Officers Council annual awards competition.

The State Information Officers Council awarded the DOC’s recycling campaign the Gold Award (first place) for the best media campaign of any state agency and the grand prize for media relations in general. The awards were presented April 11.

SIOC is a non-profit organization that meets to discuss trends and developments in the field of government public information. The annual awards competition’s goal is to identify excellent communication efforts among state agencies and to further encourage the production of quality work.

"The recycling campaign plays a very important role in encouraging and educating Californians about beverage container recycling," said Carol Dahmen, California Department of Conservation communications director. "Being recognized by your peers with the grand prize is a great honor."

The campaign, which utilizes television, print and radio advertisements, as well as billboards and a Web site (www.bottlesandcans.com), was launched in May 2001. The campaign was developed in response to a drastic decline in California’s beverage container recycling rate. In 2000, the recycling rate dropped to 61 percent as more than six billion containers were thrown away instead of being recycled, according to figures reported by the California Department of Conservation.

Designed to motivate Californians to recycle beverage containers, the television commercials feature recently emptied plastic, glass and aluminum containers longing for a "new life." Television spots featuring a trash-talking can who is reborn as a softball bat and an unloved plastic bottle who is reincarnated as a flotation device for a beautiful lifeguard are perhaps the best known components of the campaign. The radio spots and print ads follow a similar premise.

The $10 million campaign also includes a component that allows the DOC to assist local jurisdictions with their recycling outreach. A "campaign in a binder" includes the TV and radio spots, bumper stickers, and posters. The binder is available to local recycling coordinators free of charge, allowing them to extend the reach of the recycling message in their communities.

California is one of 10 states with a beverage container recycling program. The Department of Conservation administers the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, which became law in 1986. The primary goal of the act is to achieve and maintain high recycling rates for each beverage container type included in the program.

Consumers pay CRV (California Refund Value) when they purchase beverages from a retailer. The deposits are refunded when empty containers are redeemed through local recycling centers. All aspects of the state’s program, including the outreach campaign, are funded through money left over from unredeemed beverage containers. More information on the state's beverage container recycling program is available at www.bottlesandcans.com, or by calling 1-800-RECYCLE.