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ISRI Names 2019 Youth Video Contest, Design for Recycling Winners

This year’s Youth Video & Poster Contest centered on rebuilding America’s infrastructure. ISRI named Nestlé Waters North America its Design for Recycling winner.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and JASON Learning announced the winners of the nationwide 2019 Youth Video & Poster Contest designed to promote the value of recycling among youth. Fourth-grade students Nimisha Kasliwal and Asher Hardis from Hilltop Elementary School in Beachwood, Ohio, won this year’s grand prize with their video submission.

In addition, in recognition of its innovative use of recycled plastic and its product design centered on recycling, ISRI named Nestlé Waters North America as its 2019 Design for Recycling (DFR) Award winner. The DFR Award is ISRI's most prestigious award given annually to the most innovative contribution to products designed with recycling in mind.

Kasliwal and Hardis as well as Nestlé were recognized at ISRI’s Annual Convention & Exposition, held April 8-11 in Los Angeles.

“Combining art and video with STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] education to teach recycling allows kids the opportunity to learn about the science and technology of recycling through their own creativity,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, in a statement. “As this year’s winners show, with the right teaching and resources, children can have creative, innovative ideas that demonstrate how recycling works to benefit society. It is this innovation that carries the recycling industry forward for generations to come.”

The theme of this year’s contest was “Recycle to Rebuild,” which centered on how many important parts of America’s infrastructure—particularly roads and highways—were built close to 50 years ago and are beginning to show signs of wear and tear. As lawmakers are debating spending packages to rebuild the infrastructure, students were asked to imagine how recycled material could be used in these efforts. Students needed to apply the knowledge, ideas and skills gained from STEM to research, imagine, prototype and test ways that recycled materials could be used to help rebuild infrastructure. Then, they created an original video or poster that tells the story of their recycle to rebuild solution and how they thought of it and tested it.

Kasliwal and Hardis’ video submission describes in detail how recycled plastic can be used to build new roads. It describes the process in which plastic can be incorporated in the roads and the environmental benefits that would result. Throughout the video, it is clear the students did a significant amount of research on both how recycling works and the many benefits it provides.

“The ultimate educational experience is when students solve real problems. ISR's contest to rebuild the infrastructure with recycled materials is real and applied. This is STEM learning at its best,” said Eleanor Smalley, president and CEO of JASON Learning, in a statement.

Judges evaluated entries on the interpretation and clarity of the theme to the viewer, the persuasiveness of the message, creativity and originality, the quality of the entry and the overall impression of the entry.

Kasliwal and Hardis were recognized at ISRI’s Annual Convention & Exposition this week. All winners and finalists will be featured on the ISRI website. All finalists will receive a certificate, a full year of JASON online access for the entrant(s) and teacher/facilitator and a contest t-shirt. Entries receiving honorable mentions will receive certificates and t-shirts.

Nestlé Waters has received the award specifically for the design of its Nestlé Pure Life 700ml bottle made from 100 percent recycled PET plastic (rPET).

"The Design for Recycling Award recognizes proactive steps made by manufacturers that have actively incorporated its principles into products and processes," said Wiener in a statement. "Through innovative thought and design, Nestlé Waters is demonstrating the positive value of recycled plastics. There are obvious invaluable environmental benefits to using recycled plastics as feedstock in the manufacturing process to which Nestlé Waters has shown a commitment. On top of that, the design of the labeling process also takes into account improving the quality of the recycling stream. Through every stage of the manufacturing process, Nestlé Waters has shown a clear dedication to designing for recycling, and it is an honor to present them with this year's award."

In addition to the Nestlé Pure Life bottle being made entirely from recycled content, its design also takes into account end-of-life processing. For instance, the bottle features a state-of-the-art, pressure-sensitive label. Unlike traditional adhesive labels that may not release from the PET flakes during the recycling process, potentially damaging the recycling stream, these new labels will release easily during the wash stage of the recycling process, so the material can be used to make new bottles again and again.

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"Bottles like this are the future of recycling, and so to be recognized with this award is particularly significant. Made from 100 percent recycled plastic, and 100 recyclable, this Nestlé Pure Life bottle is proof that a fully circular economy is within our reach," said Fernando Mercé, president and CEO of Nestlé Waters North America, in a statement. "We take great care here at Nestlé Waters to design our packaging with recycling in mind, and we're proud to have this bottle, from our namesake brand, inspiring consumers to recycle and join us on this journey to take the 'single' out of 'single-use' plastic bottles."

Nestlé Waters North America has been incorporating recycled plastic into its packaging since 2011. Since 2017, all single-serve bottles of the company's Arrowhead Brand Mountain Spring Water produced in California have been made using 50 percent recycled plastic. Most recently, the company also announced that it is on track to nearly quadruple its use of recycled rPET in less than three years, with an ambition to reach 50 percent recycled plastic across its U.S. domestic portfolio by 2025.

To be eligible for ISRI's Design for Recycling Award, a product must be designed/redesigned and manufactured to:

  • Contain the maximum amount of materials that are recyclable.
  • Be easily recycled through current or newly designed recycling processes and procedures.
  • Be cost effective to recycle whereby the cost to recycle does not exceed the value of its recycled materials.
  • Be free of hazardous materials that are not recyclable or impede the recycling process.
  • Minimize the time and cost involved to recycle the product.
  • Reduce the use of raw materials by including recycled materials and/or components.
  • Have a net gain in the overall recyclability of the product while reducing the overall negative impact on the environment.

ISRI began presenting the award more than 10 years ago. Previous winners include Dell Inc., EcoStrate, Samsung, LG Electronics, Inc., Cascades Fine Papers Group, Hewlett-Packard, The Herman Miller Company and Wind Simplicity.

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