PepsiCo Recycling and Jeff Kinney, acclaimed author of the internationally bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid children’s book series, today announced the “Be Awesome! Recycle!” campaign. Just in time for back-to-school, this will support PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally program, which provides U.S. K-12 schools with an array of recycling resources and incentives. The campaign features beloved Diary of a Wimpy Kid character Rowley Jefferson encouraging kids to start recycling and embody the idea that “awesome kids care.”
Jeff Kinney designed an exclusive cartoon illustrating the importance of recycling through the eyes of Rowley, the protagonist of Kinney’s latest book, Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid. The colorful, highly shareable visual prompts students and teachers to embrace recycling and understand that recycling every bottle, every can, every time is not only important, but a behavior that is celebrated among their peers. In the spirit of an “I Voted” sticker, the “Be Awesome! Recycle!” cartoon and associated resources will enable students to broadcast their positive action to their friends, and establish recycling as not only a social norm, but something to be proud of.
“I am thrilled to be working with PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally this school year! Their program not only encourages kids to recycle but also educates them about its importance and what they can do to make a difference,” said Jeff Kinney. “Having Rowley Jefferson as the spokesperson for this year’s campaign is truly awesome! I hope that his positive spirit and kindhearted values help encourage even more students to participate in this year’s rally!”
The partnership comes at a time when 62 percent of Americans worry that a lack of knowledge is causing them to recycle incorrectly, and 25 percent of all recycling is contaminated. To combat these issues, PepsiCo Recycle Rally promotes proper recycling habits among K-12 schools, as research shows that educating children about recycling helps form long-term behavior change.
“Peers have an enormous influence on social norms, and it is important to instill behaviors like recycling at a young age,” says Tom Mooradian, senior manager of Environmental Sustainability at PepsiCo. “By incorporating the Wimpy Kid world into this year’s campaign, we’re aiming to showcase recycling behaviors in a fun, relatable way that will enable today’s students to see recycling in a whole new light and make it a gratifying part of their daily lives.”
Participating Recycle Rally schools can choose to receive the Rowley cartoon in the form of stickers, tattoos, t-shirts, posters and recycling bins. They will also have the option to receive select Diary of a Wimpy Kid books (while supplies last) and other Diary of a Wimpy Kid-themed classroom collateral to inspire recycling participation. In the next few months, the PepsiCo Recycle Rally program and Jeff Kinney will activate additional reward-based campaign extensions to encourage school participants to recycle throughout the year.
PepsiCo has a long history of working to improve recycling rates in the U.S. and is firmly committed to being a leading force in the industry-wide push for better recycling and sustainable packaging. The Recycle Rally program is one of the company’s flagship programs that support PepsiCo’s ambitious corporate sustainability goal to increase recycling rates in the U.S. For more information and details on how schools can sign up for Recycle Rally, visit PepsiCoRecycling.com/RecycleRally.