The Cape Cod tourist industry is looking to roar back this summer after a challenging season disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. And a group of organizations plan to leverage the expected strong visitor numbers and economic activity to get maximim visibilty for a pro-recycling and anti-litter campaign.
The group CARE for the Cape & Islands as well as the Cape Cod Anti-Litter Coalition have launched the ‘Take Care’ campaign in partnership with Massachusetts' leading non-alcohol beverage companies and other supporters. The initiative seeks to reach more than a million in-state visitors as well as year-round residents, businesses and seasonal workers between now and Labor Day. The objective: promoting recycling on Cape Cod and keeping public spaces clear of litter.
The two advocacy groups are getting strong financial and other support from the Massachusetts Beverage Association, which is helping to fund public service signage in visible locations all over Cape Cod, point of sale messages at convenience, food and other retail stores, and a 60-plus day digital advertising campaign.
“This campaign is designed to catch people’s attention and promote a fun but important reminder to consumers that recycling plays an important role in our efforts to keep Cape Cod pristine,” said Jill Talladay, Founder and Executive Director of CARE for the Cape & Islands, in a statement announcing the launch of Take Care Cape Cod's recycling campaign. “The artwork will be displayed in a variety of settings, such as grocery and convenience stores, public spaces like beaches, parks and marinas, as well as through local networks to reach tourists and full-time residents alike.”
The Take Care signage and other promotional materials feature a smiling blue whale with a seagull perched on its head, as well as a brightly colored ‘Cape Cod Recycles’ flag. Campaign organizers say other supporters include the Center for Coastal Studies, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Food Association, the New England Convenience Store and Energy Marketers Association, Chatham Recycles and local officials and business owners.
“We all work together to find solutions to problems that confront us as a society. In 2012 Mass Beverage started a campaign for recycling. This year we wanted to do something different. We came up with an idea to work with Take Care and create messaging around recycling,” said Mass. Beverage Association President Steve Boksanski, during a July 1 campaign launch event that was streamed on Instagram. “Public service announcements like this - we don’t have enough of them. We can’t do it alone and we are asking for everyone’s help to recycle.”
Boksanski said MBA members have placed a major priority on improving the rate of recycling of its standard bottles - manufactured with so-called "PET" plastic, which are 100 percent recyclable. Redemption rates under the state's bottle deposit system have declined since 2010. The beverage companies have been reliable advocates and financial supporters of recycling programs around Massachusetts, including a pilot recycling program with the MBTA public transit system and other initiatives to create more public recycling options and resources.
“It's hard to get people to understand where litter happens and why we need to take care of it. We are a tourist destination. We need the Cape to look beautiful all the time. It is our job to educate businesses, government officials, and residents on how to do this,” said Meg Morris, Co-Founder and President of the Cape Cod Anti-Litter Coalition, in her remarks at the launch event. “Litter is recyclables and trash that wasn’t disposed of properly so that’s why we are promoting recycling."