ISRI and JASON Learning launch annual Youth Recycling contest for students, inviting projects that redesign consumer products based on recycling principles; contest aims to foster awareness about recycling and its benefits

Sample article from our Sustainability & Social Responsibility

September 8, 2023 (press release) –

(September 5, 2023 - Washington, D.C.) – ISRI the Voice of the Recycled Materials Industry  and JASON Learning have announced the launch of their annual Youth Recycling contest aimed at building awareness about the value of recycling, and the essential benefits of the recycled materials industry. The theme for this year’s contest is "Design for Recycling®," which encourages students to enhance an existing consumer product using Design for Recycling® principles.

“ISRI recognizes that today’s students are the leaders for tomorrow’s continued priority of a sustainable planet,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “Last year, creative students from across the country provided more Youth Recycling Contest entries than ever before. Our partnership with JASON Learning enables students to learn more about the recycled materials industry and showcase their talents and passion for the importance of designing products with recycling as a priority.”

Student may choose to create either a poster/infographic or a two-minute video showcasing their improved product and explaining the enhancements made using Design for Recycling® principles. The focus of the contest is to maximize recyclability, reduce costs, eliminate hazardous materials, and minimize time and environmental impact in the recycling process.

The contest is open to all students living in the United States and Canada enrolled in grades K-12 during the 2023-24 school year. Students can enter the contest as individuals or as a team of up to four individuals. Entries must be submitted by Friday, December 15, 2023, at 11:59 PM EST. Participants can find detailed rules and guidelines on the contest website

The 2022-23 Youth Recycling Contest received 165 entries from talented young minds across the nation. To honor their remarkable achievements, the winners, along with a guardian, attended the 2023 ISRI Convention and Exposition held in Nashville, Tenn. ISRI recognized the student winners and provided invaluable insights into the recycled materials industry. The winners of this year’s contest will be invited once again to attend the ISRI2024 Convention in Las Vegas, Nev.

"We’re on a mission to empower the next generation as champions of change. Through the Youth Recycling Contest, we’re inviting students to unleash their creativity and reimagine recycling for a better world. Last year, I was blown away by the incredible entries we received. The passion, innovation, and dedication showcased by the students left me truly inspired. We will build upon that momentum this year and continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Dr. Eleanor Smalley, President and CEO of JASON Learning.

To assist students with more information on the Youth Recycling contest, ISRI and JASON is sponsoring two Ask-an-Expert LIVE Events, open to all K-12 students, teachers, and family members. The events offer a unique opportunity to hear from recycling industry experts, gain valuable tips for successful submissions, and ask questions. Dates are September 19th, 6:00 pm ET  and October 11th, 3:00 pm ET  and registration is available on the provided date link.

To support educators and students in their recycling journey, ISRI and JASON have created a Recycling Activities Collection: Lessons and Resources for Grades K-12. This open-source collection provides educators with engaging materials to inform and inspire students about recycling. Visit to access the collection. 

For more information about the 2023-24 Youth Recycling Contest, please contact Natalie Messer Betts or Abigail Shaw


For more information contact: Vicki Morgan, (202) 975-9042,

ISRI is the "Voice of the Recycled Materials Industry," representing more than 1,500 companies in the U.S. and 40 countries around the globe. Based in Washington, D.C., ISRI provides advocacy, education, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycled materials play in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development.


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