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A Simple Marketing Strategy Can Increase Recycling Efforts

At the 2020 Summer Academic Conference, the Journal of Marketing hosted a special session honoring the 2019 AMA/Marketing Science Institute/H. Paul Root Award winning article, “Knowing What It Makes: How Product Transformation Salience Increases Recycling,” and its authors, Karen Page Winterich, Gergana Y. Nenkov, and Gabriel E. Gonzales.

The studies presented provide compelling evidence that when consumers consider that recyclables are transformed into something new, they recycle more. The authors also provide insights into how companies can use product transformation messages to increase consumer recycling. Two industry experts offer their own perspectives and support for the research. The recycling conversation needs to change from “Where does this go?” to “What can this make?” so consumers are inspired to recycle to make new products.


Karen Page Winterich of Pennsylvania State University

Gabriel E. Gonzales of SUNY/New Paltz

Scott Breen, Vice President of Sustainability at the Can Manufacturers Institute

Alec Cooley, Senior Advisor, Busch Systems (former Director of Recycling Programs, Keep America Beautiful)

The full article is available at

This session was held as a part of the 2020 AMA Summer Academic Conference. Also available are a series of on demand sessions highlighting interactive software tools for the classroom presented by conference sponsors.