When it comes to recycling, soda bottles and shampoo bottles are not treated equally: only 14% of Americans are recycling their bathroom bottles, while more than half of American households are recycling their kitchen items. That is why Unilever is reprising Rinse.Recycle.Reimagine., a campaign designed to rally Americans to reassess their recycling habits and treat their Unilever bathroom empties – like Simple®, Dove®, Suave® and more – with the same respect as their kitchen counterparts.
"When it comes to household recycling, we want people to realize that how they dispose of empty bottles in the bathroom is just as important as how they dispose of empty bottles in the kitchen. We are inviting consumers to #RethinkRecycling by putting their empty bathroom bottles in the bin just as often as their kitchen empties, because if we each make small changes, we can create a brighter future for all," said Julie Zaniewski, Packaging Sustainability Manager at Unilever.
Rallying Americans to #RethinkRecycling
The campaign will feature engaging, socially-driven content aimed at educating Americans on how empty bath and beauty bottles should be recycled equally as often as their kitchen counterparts. Using attention-grabbing imagery, Unilever bottles will take a stand – and take up picket signs – to demand equality in recycling.
Leaning into cultural symbols, and with a playful nod to the election year, Unilever will also be asking Americans to help vote for what recycled plastics can become. To showcase the amazing things bath and beauty bottles can become when they are recycled, Unilever will be creating coats for kids, school supplies or playgrounds from recycled plastics in partnership with Keep America Beautiful. Head to @UnileverUSA on Twitter to nominate your reimagined recyclable.
Furthermore, to spread the word and encourage Americans to rethink recycling on a large scale, Unilever is also rallying a team of influential voices to stand up for the forgotten bathroom bottles, led by actress, producer, New York Times Best-Selling author, and Emmy® nominated co-host of "The View," Candace Cameron Bure.
"From now on, I'm going to be sure my family and I take the extra step to recycle our bathroom empties," said Candace Cameron Bure. "It's unthinkable that so many recyclable bathroom products end up in landfills, and I am proud to be partnering with Unilever to encourage Americans to make a positive change through the simple, yet impactful, act of recycling their empty bathroom products."
Recycling, Not Just a Social Mission for Unilever
The program is part of the Unilever brightFuture initiative in support of Unilever's purpose-driven business model, the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which aims to increase its positive social impact while reducing its environmental impact.
Specifically, while many of Unilever's bath and beauty products are packaged in recycled material, Unilever has set an aggressive goal to increase the recycled material content in its packaging to maximum possible levels by the year 2020.
In order to help achieve this, Unilever is taking steps such as:
• Teaming up with leading experts and organizations like the Closed Loop Fund, through which Unilever is working to address the root causes of low recycling rates – as well as Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council to continue to increase recycling awareness among consumers.
• Implementing more sustainable operations throughout the company's supply chain for more efficient production, while evolving product packaging to be designed with less material.
• Sharing knowledge and innovations with other organizations and corporations to encourage a shift not only at Unilever, but industry-wide.
"As a company that touches 2 billion people a day with our products, our size alone provides the opportunity to bring about transformational change," said Julie Zaniewski, Packaging Sustainability Manager at Unilever. "We're working across our whole value chain – from the sourcing of raw materials to our factories and the way consumers use our products – so that we can make a bigger difference on the issues that matter most, like recycling and the environment. We've come a long way, but we have more work to do and we need America to join us."
Rinse.Recycle.Reimagine. – Returning for Year Two
This marks the second year in a row for the Unilever Rinse.Recycle.Reimagine. program, which began as an extension of Unilever's national sponsorship of the “I Want to be Recycled” public service campaign, created by Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council. Since its July 2013 launch, the campaign has received more than $123 million in donated media support, attracted more than 3.2 million website visitors, and been seen or heard by nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population.
"We're excited to continue the momentum of our campaign and expand the conversation around bathroom recycling with Unilever and the 'Rinse.Recycle.Reimagine.' program," said Jennifer Jehn, President and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. "Bathroom recycling is a simple, yet often overlooked act. Together with Unilever, the Ad Council, and others, we are educating and engaging people to better understand the importance of recycling, giving our garbage another life by turning recycling into a daily norm at home, at work and on-the-go."
To learn more about the Unilever efforts in inspiring people to #RethinkRecycling in the United States, and how you can help make a change visit brightfuture.unilever.us.