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EPA’s Pacific Southwest Office Embarks on Prime Time Outreach Effort for Environmental Messages

Release Date: 5/20/2003
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, (410 947-4297

LOS ANGELES -- The U.S Environmental Protection Agency has unveiled 10 new innovative projects across the country -- including one in the Pacific Southwest region -- to test creative approaches to waste minimization, energy recovery, recycling and land revitalization.

Examples of projects include testing a market-based approach for reducing chemical use and waste at universities and exploring an innovative approach to processing food waste and its potential renewable energy applications.

A total of $30,000 has been allotted for the project in the Pacific Southwest Region, which involves "product placement" of environmentally beneficial behavior on television shows.

This project seeks to change the behaviors and habits of the U.S. public, encouraging them to engage in recycling, waste minimization and energy conservation. By demonstrating these behaviors on prime time television, the EPA hopes to increase public support for environmental stewardship.

"Environmental messages in popular television shows has the potential to change the public’s behavior, which in turn will reduce waste, conserve energy and increase recycling," said Wayne Nastri, regional administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. "We hope this the project will result in the development of a model program and guide that can be emulated by the EPA’s partners across the country."

This is a first-of-its-kind project for the United States. No environmental organization has made a concerted effort to mimic the private sector product placement approach to influence public behavior in the environmental arena. The project also promotes a more innovative culture within the targeted television industry.

Today’s announcement is the second round of grants for $352,000 of Innovation Pilots. The EPA spent $525,000 on the first round in July 2002. The goal of this initiative is to test innovative ideas to make the EPA’s waste programs more efficient and effective, measure and analyze the results and then get the word out around the country so others can learn from the experiments.

These projects build upon the efforts of the Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC), the Land Revitalization and One Cleanup Agendas.

  • The RCC calls on Americans to increase the national recycling rate from 30 to 35 percent and reduce the generation of 30 priority chemicals, both by 2005.
  • The Land Revitalization Agenda outlines over 60 specific ways to help integrate land reuse and economic revitalization into the EPA’s cleanup programs.
  • The goal of the One Cleanup Program is to improve the speed, effectiveness, and consistency of cleanups at all contaminated sites, and ensure that the EPA’s activities and results are effectively communicated to the public.

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