I have to admit we were not big into recycling until our waste management service mandated it. That was probably around a decade ago and when I saw how little garbage we were putting out after we started recycling, well let’s just say I was shocked. I made a concerted effort from that point on to make sure we were recycling what we could. It seems the paper, chip board and containers in the kitchen are a given when it comes to recycling for most people, but for some reason when it comes to the bathroom and the containers we use in that space – many people don’t bother recycling those shampoo, lotion or soap dispensers!
Unilever is launching “Rinse. Recycle. Reimagine.” a new program in partnership with Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council designed to educate people about recycling in the bathroom, inspire them to reimagine what empty bathroom products could become through recycling, and ultimately make a small change that holds big potential to positively impact the environment.
The new “Unilever Bathroom Recycling Index*,” an online survey commissioned by Unilever and conducted by KRC Research, uncovered the following about bathroom recycling habits in the United States:
When it comes to bathroom recycling, there is a gap between knowledge and action.
• While a majority of Americans are aware that their empty bath and beauty bottles are recyclable, less than half (34%) report always bringing empty bathroom items to the recycling bin.
• In comparison, 86% of Americans claim to always recycle in general, and nearly half (46%) reported always recycling kitchen recyclables.
Some Americans have better bathroom recycling habits than others. Where do you fall in the index?
• The average American has 8 products in plastics bottles in their bathroom at a given time, yet only 34% of Americans always recycle these bottles when empty.That’s a lot of bathroom products! With three bathrooms in our home and a myriad of body washes, shampoos and lotions, I can imagine how if families aren’t recycling those items when they are finished with the contents, on how it wouldn’t take long for 600 million bathroom product bottles could end up in a landfill each year! But perhaps this is why:
There are quite a few things Americans would do before walking their empty bathroom products to the recycling bin.
• 1 in 5 (22%) Americans wouldn’t walk across their home to recycle a bath or beauty bottle.
• In fact, Americans are more likely to go the distance to get a drink when thirsty, charge their phone, or answer a phone call than walk an empty plastic bottle from the bathroom to the recycling bin.
I have to say those statistics made my jaw drop. Really?! Come on Americans, this is an easy task that keeps the Earth and our resources chugging along for the next generation.
With just a rinse and a recycle, empty bath and beauty bottles can take on new life and return as hairbrushes, backpacks or even backyard play set.
• See which U.S. metropolitan cities are leading the way when it comes to bathroom recycling, and which cities could step it up (based on those who reported always recycling bathroom products):
1. Philadelphia (52%)
2. New York (48% )
3. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (41% ) and Seattle (41% )
4. Minneapolis (40%)
5. Boston (39%)
6. Los Angeles (38%)
7. Washington, DC (37%) and Phoenix (37%)
8. Chicago (33%)
9. Houston (30%)
10. Tampa/St. Petersburg (29%)
11. Dallas/Ft. Worth (28%)
12. Detroit (26%)
13. Atlanta (23%)
How does your city rate? I’m sad to say that in my community only 28% of people are recycling their bathroom products.
But so I don’t sound like a complete Debbie Downer, there is some good news to be had t00, and that is that families are getting the job done when it comes to bathroom recycling.
• Parents are more likely than non-parents to recycle in the bathroom (81% vs. 74%).
So hopefully this example will resonate with our future generations on how important it is to recycle.
In light of these startling facts, Unilever – the maker of products including Dove®, Suave®, St. Ives®, Caress® and more – is stepping in to inspire Americans to clean up their act in the bathroom, and the company has introduced the Unilever BrightFuture initiative. What began as Project Sunlight in 2013 has evolved into a larger movement designed to bring Unilever’s purpose to life and inspire Americans to take small actions that add up to a big difference – whether that’s wasting less, sharing more, turning off the tap, turning on community activism or, simply, recycling – because everyone has a role to play in creating a brighter future.
Unilever can’t do this alone and you can help spread the word by sharing a photo of your bathroom empties being recycled on Twitter and Instagram using #ReimagineThat. Add #Sweeps and tag @UnileverUSA on your post to be entered for a chance to win recycled, reimagined prizes. There are daily prizes up for grabs and a grand prize (for a $500 gift card). The sweepstakes goes until June 9th and you can read the official rules here: http://unileversweepsrules.com/reimagine/.
To find out more about how Unilever is striving to make a brightFuture for the next generations visit: https://brightfuture.unilever.us/.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Unilever. All opinions are my own.
* The online survey, commissioned by Unilever, was conducted by KRC Research. The survey was conducted nationwide from March 9-23, 2015, among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 5,516 adults ages 18+.