The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) earned five prestigious ADDY awards Feb. 17 from the Mid-Michigan American Advertising Federation for its Know It Before You Throw It recycling education campaign.
The aim of the first-of-its-kind Know It Before You Throw It statewide push — featuring a lineup of mischievous Recycling Racoons — is to better inform Michiganders on what can — and cannot — be recycled and how to recycle correctly.
"We tried to make it fun and informative to learn about recycling. We also wanted to make sure we could reach people across all demographics: children, students, parents, grandparents," said Jack Schinderle, director of EGLE's Materials Management Division.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state legislators want to double Michigan's recycling rate to 30% by 2025 and ultimately reach 45% annually. Michigan's current 15% recycling rate is the lowest in the Great Lakes region and ranks among the nation's lowest.
"By encouraging people to focus on the basics and think about what they're recycling before they throw it, we can improve our environment and build stronger communities across Michigan," Schinderle said.
In its first six months, the Know It Before You Throw It campaign has reached over 350 million people across the nation and earned national recognition as Recycling Campaign of the Year from Waste Dive, a leading industry news publisher based in Washington, D.C.
The ADDY awards are mid-Michigan's highest honor in recognition of the creative spirit of excellence in advertising. Gold, silver and bronze awards were given for video, design, billboards, posters and other forms of advertising.
EGLE's Know It Before You Throw It campaign, developed in conjunction with Lansing-based Güd Marketing, earned the following honors in public service and cross-platform categories:
GOLD: Corporate Responsibility Out of Home Campaign and Integrated Media Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign
SILVER: Corporate Social Responsibility Online Interactive Campaign and Corporate Social Responsibility Film, Video, Sound Campaign
BRONZE: Corporate Social Responsibility Online/Interactive — Single
The American Advertising Federation has more than 200 local clubs across the U.S. representing nearly 40,000 advertising professionals, connecting and leading the industry.