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J&J Launches Tumblr Campaign to Remind Americans to Recycle in the Bathroom

Image credit: Johnson & Johnson

While 7 out of 10 Americans say they always or almost always recycle, apparently a scant 1 in 5 consistently recycles bathroom items, according to a report commissioned by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.

To encourage consumers to be more mindful, Johnson & Johnson has launched Care to Recycle™, a recycling campaign that begins with a gentle reminder to recycle more items from the bathroom. It is the first recycling awareness campaign of its kind to be hosted exclusively on Tumblr.

The Care to Recycle™ site features the “Smallest Room” short video, reminding viewers that one step toward a healthy planet is to recycle in the bathroom. Users are encouraged to share the video at various points on the Tumblr page, which also includes a host of information, tips and resources to be a better bathroom recycler, including which bathroom items and Johnson & Johnson personal care products can be recycled. All the content is shareable within the Tumblr platform, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. More content and opportunities for consumer engagement will be progressively added to Tumblr in the weeks and months after launch.

“Because many of our personal care products are used or stored in the bathroom, we wanted to understand if Americans are recycling there,” said Paulette Frank, J&J’s VP of Sustainability. “After reviewing the results of the research, we saw a very real opportunity to help reduce waste by educating people about recyclable bathroom items. With its active community of highly engaged content seekers, Tumblr seemed like the ideal platform to help spread the word about recycling in the smallest room of the house and how it can make a big difference to our planet.”

Market research conducted by Shelton Group concluded that recycling in the bathroom is simply not top of mind for many people. In fact, 40 percent of Americans report recycling no bathroom items at all. Among the reasons cited, 22 percent reported they had never thought about recycling in the bathroom and 20 percent didn’t even know that products in the bathroom are recyclable.

Care to Recycle™ also includes information and links to J&J’s key partners for this campaign including Recyclebank, where people can earn rewards after learning about recycling; Keep America Beautiful and its America Recycles Day program; Net Impact’s Small Steps, Big Wins, where students compete to earn points for recycling bathroom products and other social and environmental actions; and Earth 911, which provides a recycling locator where individuals can find out what they can recycle and where.

“Care to Recycle is a gentle reminder to recycle empty containers from the bathroom,” said Frank. “We hope it leads to a change in the automatic behavior of throwing recyclable bathroom items in the trash and a greater awareness that the health of our planet is in all of our hands.”

In 2011, the “Wasting Water Is Weird” campaign also attempted to bridge the gap between consumer’s beliefs and actions around water waste. Research by Shelton Group, which spearheaded the campaign with the help of Bosch, Kohler, Lowe’s and P&G, revealed that 69% of Americans believed it is important to personally reduce water consumption, but only 26% actually acted on these beliefs. The campaign drove its message home through Rip the Drip, a “weird” character that popped up to make people uncomfortable when they started wasting water during their daily activities. 

SB Issues in Focus For more examples of how brands are driving #BehaviorChange, check out our Issue in Focus.

Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor at Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]


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