Keep America Beautiful, Ad Council Join with Unilever to Encourage Recycling in the Bathroom through 2015 “I Want To Be Recycled” Campaign

by | Mar 5, 2015

NEW YORK (March 5, 2015) — Typical bathroom products like shampoo bottles, toilet paper rolls and toothpaste boxes are significantly less likely to be recycled than kitchen products according to survey results released today by the Ad Council. Nonprofits Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council have joined with Unilever to expand the conversation around recycling and motivate more Americans to remember to recycle in the bathroom by launching a new phase of the national “I Want To Be Recycled” communications campaign, featuring a brand new series of broadcast and digital PSAs.

According to new research commissioned by the Ad Council, only 10 percent of Americans have a recycling bin in their bathroom, compared to the 45 percent who have recycling bins in the kitchen. Respondents also indicated that there are clear barriers as to why they aren’t recycling in the bathroom, with 52 percent saying they have a lack of knowledge around which items can be recycled in the bathroom and 47 percent saying they do not think about recycling materials in the bathroom.

“As a society, we’ve come a long way in increasing recycling in the kitchen, but now it’s critical that we carry that progress into the bathroom,” said Jennifer Jehn, President and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “We’re very grateful to Unilever for adding their influential voice to this initiative and are excited to launch another phase of the ‘I Want To Be Recycled’ campaign with the Ad Council to help people give their garbage another life.”

Created pro bono by San Francisco-based ad agency Pereira & O’Dell and funded by Unilever, the company behind many personal care brands including Dove® and Suave®, this latest installment of the “I Want To Be Recycled” campaign is meant to increase the awareness of recyclable materials in the bathroom and encourage consumers to give these products new life through recycling. This new phase of the campaign, which originally launched in 2013, illustrates how products like shampoo bottles can be recycled and transformed into new products, like hair brushes and more. Unilever will extend the campaign this Spring continuing to educate and inspire people to change their bathroom recycling habits.

“As a company that touches more than 2 billion people every day with a Unilever product – many of which are found in the bathroom – we have the ability to drive an enormous positive social impact when it comes to changing recycling habits,” said Gina Boswell, Executive Vice President of Personal Care, Unilever North America. “Recycling in the bathroom is a simple act that can make a huge difference in our environment and in our supply chain. We’re excited to team up with Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council to help people reimagine recycling in the bathroom.”

New TV and digital public service advertisements (PSAs) will continue to direct consumers to the campaign website,, which includes an interactive game on recycling and comprehensive information on recycling throughout the home. The website offers information on which products to recycle, how to recycle products and what the products could potentially transform into when recycled properly. The site also includes infographics and detailed information on how to find a recycling facility nearby.

“People are largely unaware that many products we use in the bathroom can become something new through recycling, and instead are continuing to push them to the landfill,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “After four decades of powerful collaboration with Keep America Beautiful, encouraging proper and consistent recycling habits continues to be a crucial message that we are proud to share to help improve the environment for future generations.”

“Washing your hair, putting on deodorant, applying skin cream — common bathroom activities — are all associated with packaging that can be recycled,” said PJ Pereira, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Pereira & O’Dell. “The new creative aims to change people’s mindsets about recycling in the bathroom. While we use all these personal care products to take care of ourselves, we can also help take care of the world by making sure the products we use in the bathroom make it to the recycling bin. The spots continue to demonstrate how you can give your garbage another life by recycling.”

Following the Ad Council’s model, the new ads will run in space and time entirely donated by the media. To date, media outlets nationwide have already donated nearly $67 million in support for the campaign. In addition to Unilever, Keep America Beautiful partners of the “I Want To Be Recycled” campaign include the American Chemistry Council, Niagara Bottling, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), and the City of Austin.

The online omnibus survey, commissioned by the Ad Council, was conducted by ORC International. The survey was conducted nationwide from Feb. 12-15, 2015, among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,032 adults age 18+.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With our national network of community-based affiliates, we work with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. Learn how you can donate or take action at Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.

About Pereira & O’Dell
Pereira & O’Dell is the first advertising agency to win an Emmy against regular television programming, winning “Outstanding New Approach to Television” for the social film “The Beauty Inside” for Intel. The agency was most recently named as a “Standout Agency” in Advertising Age’s 2015 A-list and as one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Advertising” by Fast Company in 2014. With four offices in the US and Brazil, Pereira & O’Dell is currently working for Skype, Intel, Coca-Cola, Henkel, Fiat-Chrysler, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, Fox Sports 1 and Memorial Sloan Kettering. More info at

About Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitteror view our PSAs on YouTube.

About Unilever United States, Inc.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in more than 190 countries. Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. In the United States, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Fruttare, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Magnum, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-tips, Simple, St. Ives, Suave, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, TIGI, TONI&GUY Hair Meet Wardrobe, TRESemmé and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.

Our ambition is to double the size of our business, while reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined seven pillars, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at

Unilever employs approximately 8,000 people in the United States – generating approximately $8.5 billion in sales in 2014. For more information, visit