Recycle Across America (RAA) is celebrating Earth Week 2014 by partnering with notable celebrities and Lamar Advertising to announce a simple solution that will deliver a profound impact on the environment and the economy – society-wide standardized labeling for recycling bins.

Earth Week 2014 - Recycle Across America Encourages Americans to Recycle Right
Earth Week 2014 - Recycle Across America Encourages Americans to Recycle Right

To preface the solution, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recycling is the most important action society can do to improve the environment. Recycling and reusing the materials in manufacturing is the public facing action that can simultaneously: reduce CO2 levels, conserve water, reduce energy usage, protect finite natural resources, protect oceans, waterways, sea life, and wildlife, and create millions of jobs.

However recycling has been underutilized, as demonstrated by EPA statistics indicating U.S. recycling levels are less than 35% and have barely improved in the past 15 years. In fact, recently the EPA released a report saying that recycling levels in the U.S. are declining.

The culprit – thousands of different looking labels on public area recycling bins causing public confusion, apathy and skepticism, and a lack of society-wide messaging about the importance of recycling right. As a result, millions of tons of trash are being thrown in recycling bins every year, which cripples the economics of recycling and hinders the ability for manufacturers to reuse the materials.

In 2011, RAA launched the simple non-profit solution of a society-wide standardized label system for recycling bins and without solicitation or outreach, many industry leaders have begun using the labels on their bins, such as: NBCUniversal, Hallmark, Kohler, Walt Disney World employee areas, Procter & Gamble manufacturing, SanDisk, AOL, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey beginning with the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal, 2,000 U.S. K-12 schools – including all the public schools in Washington DC, many universities including University of Denver, George Mason University, University of Connecticut, Johns Hopkins University and thousands of other adopters. Today approximately half a million of RAA’s standardized labels are now in use throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

The standardized labeling system for recycling bins is a simple solution that has been proven to increase recycling levels by more than 50% and significantly reduces the amount of trash currently being thrown in recycling bins. Additionally the standardized labels, which make it easier for people to recycle right, has a profound impact on the future of manufacturing and their ability to begin using recycled materials that are of consistent quality and that will be competitively priced to virgin materials.

For Earth Week, Lamar Advertising has donated 600 digital billboards across the U.S. to feature Recycle Across America’s “Let’s recycle right!” campaign which introduces the standardized labels and includes celebrities such as Kristen Bell, Angie Harmon, Stana Katic, Ian Somerhalder, Josie Maran, Alanis Morissette, Anthony Mackie, Gabby Reece, AnnaSophia Robb and Chris Salgardo, the president of the philanthropic brand, Kiehl’s Since 1851, who have donated over 200,000 standardized labels to K-12 schools through the U.S. The campaign also combines social media and digital out-of-home to engage consumers and promote the importance of recycling right.

Recycle Across America will ask people on Twitter to pledge to “recycle right” using standardized labels. Those who re-tweet the pledge from @recycleacrossam or tweet with #LetsRecycleRight will have their twitter handle featured on digital billboards nationwide.

Additionally, a segment featuring Recycle Across America and the standardized label initiative will also air throughout the day on Friday, April 25 on The Weather Channel.

For more information, please visit www.letsrecycleright.org.

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