NR 2003-24
September 2, 2003

Contact: Ed Wilson
Mark Oldfield
Don Drysdale
(916) 323-1886


SACRAMENTO – A statewide media campaign to get Californians to recycle more of their empty bottles and cans made at least one impression that can’t be measured in pounds of plastic or gobs of glass: Another state asked for and was granted permission to use the marketing materials.

California’s “Recycle. It’s Good for the Bottle. It’s Good for the Can” campaign, developed by the state Department of Conservation, has been licensed for use by the State of Ohio. The agreement gives Ohio the right to use television, radio and print advertising that has been part of California’s social marketing effort since 2001. By taking California’s ready-to-use creative materials and localizing them, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is able to stretch outreach dollars further than if it had to develop advertising on its own.

“Ohio recognized that by using our creative materials it could lower one of the major cost factors of advertising,” said Darryl Young, director of the California Department of Conservation and a driving force behind the outreach effort. “Creative development is costly and time consuming, so Ohio saves in both of those areas. It gets a really good campaign, too.”

One television spot follows a plastic water bottle on its journey from the recycle bin to the beach – where it is pleasantly surprised to reappear as a lifeguard buoy. In a second spot, viewers hear a tough-talking aluminum can as it joyously realizes it is reincarnated as an aluminum softball bat about to whack an incoming pitch.

The radio spots have a humorous touch as well. In one, a woman compares recycling her beverage container to recycling her boyfriend. Both, she surmises, deserve a chance to be loved by someone else when she’s finished with them.

After an initial television and radio blitz in January, Ohio began running the advertising again in August and will continue the current run through January 2004. A subsequent media buy is planned for August 2004-January 2005.

The DOC allows local governments within California free use of the campaign materials. Likewise, Ohio’s license agreement allows for propagation of the campaign via local recycling districts. California’s contract with Ohio could set the stage for use of the campaign in other states, several of which have expressed an interest.

“Just like recycling gives new life to bottles and cans, this campaign could come to life again and again across the USA,” Young said. “By spreading the ‘Good for the bottle, good for the can’ message elsewhere, California will help states leverage their outreach dollars and boost their recycling rates.”

While Ohio makes use of the existing campaign, California is looking at additional ways to increase recycling. The DOC is targeting office buildings and other places where people gather in large numbers but don’t necessarily have the opportunity to recycle. Working with advertising and public relations firm Riester-Robb, the creative agency behind “Recycle. It’s Good for the Bottle. It’s Good for the Can,” the DOC is developing a program to help businesses make recycling available to employees and customers.

More information about beverage container recycling and the complete array of outreach materials associated with California’s campaign can be found at

In addition to promoting beverage container recycling in California, the Department of Conservation regulates oil, gas and geothermal wells; studies and maps earthquakes and other geologic phenomena; maps and classifies areas containing mineral deposits; ensures reclamation of land used for mining; and administers agricultural and open-space land conservation programs.

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