The Rainbow Recycling Campaign

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The Rainbow Recycling Campaign

Houston, United States
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Rainbow Recycling Campaign is a project to promote consumer and manufacturing responsibility of consumable products world wide. My solution is to use representative colors and symbols that can easily be recognized anywhere in the world. Representative colors and symbols provide a visual cue for anyone to properly recycle disposable products. A RED container represents metals, as metals require extreme heat to melt. A GREEN container would represent paper products as paper products come from trees. A YELLOW container would represent organic products grown from the yellow light of the sun. Glass in many cases could be considered an 'organic' product as glass in it's most basic form is sand. Plastics would use BLUE containers. The association of blue to plastic comes from the light blue color of many plastic water bottle containers.

There are currently minor examples of color coded recycling, but they do not associate the colors of the containers with the products handled by the container. So therefore, they only provide further confusion to consumers, as they are not standardized in any way. Manufacturers could slowly modify their product manufacturing to clearly provide consumers with color codes and symbols designating where each product fits in the recycling stream. Businesses can work to develop profitable solutions to use these recycled products and re-purpose them for consumer consumption. If trash is money, we would be less likely to discard any of it.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Our landfills are being filled with products we consider 'trash'. Much of this 'trash' are products resulting from the manufacturing process. The essential products are plastics, pulp products (paper and cardboard), metals, and organic products. Our societies immediate response is to dispose of all these products in one container labeled 'trash'. Even the current recycling campaigns are focused on 'single stream', where consumers and businesses place all of their recycled products in one container and waste disposal companies supposedly 'sort' the trash into various product streams. This only results in irresponsible consumers and an inefficient recycling program where very little is actually 'recycled'.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

A project on this scale will not work unless everyone is involved. Consumers, businesses, and governments can begin by using the standardized color coding system even if they only recycle a few of these products. One of the most common feedback responses I get is that consumers would not be willing to 'take the time' to implement this. I disagree. If you give consumers convenient options to improve and conserve their environment, they will welcome it passionately.  Using internationally recognized symbols (much like the current recycling symbol) for each specific product stream will also make the process more acceptable to a larger international audience. Four basic symbols for paper, plastics, metals and organics would provide the visual cue anyone anywhere could understand at a distance. Products could also have a 'secondary symbol' to break each category down into specific types of products that specific locations permit. e.g., Metal containers in some places might only accept aluminum, plastic containers in some locations may only accept plastic water bottles, paper products in some areas would only accept paper and not glue processed cardboards, organic containers in some areas would only accept glass bottles, etc.. Each individual campaign in different areas can be customized to the specific area and the recycling resources available in that area.   
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

'Single source' recycling is different from 'single stream' recycling. In single stream recycling all recycling products are disposed of together and the single stream recycling facilities collect and sort the products to be recycled. 'Single source' recycling is where the products are disposed of by consumers in separate containers. Giving the responsibility of sorting the products to the consumers. Making the overall process more efficient and transferring the responsibility of sorting to the consumer. With a single source recycling campaign using color coded containers, manufacturers would take responsibility to assure their products were properly recycled after their initial usage expired. Symbolic coding on containers and packaging would provide consumer a visual cue on how the specific product could safely and efficiently be disposed of.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In order for single source recycling to be successful it has to be profitable for companies investing in the process. Large corporate manufacturers of waste containers could initiate the project by manufacturing containers in the colors and with the symbols of the campaign initiative. Consumers, businesses and governments could further advance the campaign by using standardized color coded containers in every facet of their recycling efforts. Currently many businesses use color coding for recyclables, but there is no consistency throughout locations. Blue and green are used interchangeably for plastic and paper. The next important step is research and development for more efficient and profitable products from singe source recycled products. Plastics have several different compositions. Metals encompass a variety of different metals. Paper products are also divided into paper and cardboard. Entrepreneurial businesses must be supported and encouraged to develop processes and products that efficiently and profitably re-constitute recycled single source products. Until we make our trash valuable, consumers will continue to dispose of it with the idea that is worthless. Our resources are not worthless. And if we continue on the current path, we will be 'forced' to reexamine our 'trash' as a valuable resource.


We have found several kinds of campaign programs to promote a particular concept that is called recycling. Most probably through recycling we are able to utilize the waste materials. So in different community people are start promoting recycling methods to give their waste materials new and innovative shapes and contribute their best towards environmental protection. Rainbow recycling campaign is also one of them, it spread the awareness programs on recycling among people and aware them regarding the advantage of recycling. Thanks for such campaign programs it will definitely bring good positive result towards environment and recycling products.