With a Publishers Clearing House-style approach, the American Plastics Council's Midwest region is scouring several Minnesota neighborhoods to present residents who successfully recycle plastics with $100 checks and T-shirts made from recycled plastic soda bottles.
As part of its “Get Caught Recycling” campaign, council members randomly check recycling bins to reward people for their good deeds. Most residents are surprised by their visit — some even thought they had won millions from Ed McMahon, and at least one person said, “Oh, rats,” when he noticed the lack of several zeroes on his check.
“I figured someone was pulling a gag on me,” said resident Sandra Fisher.
About 48 percent of Minnesotans recycle, and 46,542 tons of plastic were recycled in the state in 2000, according to the most recent council data. Nonetheless, it's still good to be rewarded for doing well, says Joan Archer, Minnesota Soft Drink Association president. “Plastic recycling is still pretty new, so that's why we're drawing attention to it,” she says.