// National Consumer Education Campaign 
Check It, Before You Chuck It!

Objective 

Nearly a third of all packaging ends up in landfill unnecessarily due to poor household recycling habits. Consumers are a vital part of the recycling ecosystem and empowering them to make the right choice at the bin can significantly improve Australia’s recycling rates. To address this Horizon was engaged by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) to develop a campaign to improve consumer recycling behaviour while increasing awareness of its on-pack labelling program, the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL).  

Approach and scope 

Research shows that Australians are passionate recyclers and recognise that recycling is important. While almost all respondents tend to have some level of confidence in their recycling, an alarming 94% are throwing items that cannot be recycled into the recycling bin. This required a creative idea that would resonate with consumers at different stages of the recycling journey while clearly articulating a simple behaviour to action.  

The solution was Check It! Before You Chuck It, a behaviour change campaign designed to encourage all Australians to look for the ARL every time they are at the bin. Driven by PR, the campaign went live in October 2020 ahead of National Recycling Week and will run until the end of June 2022. The launch phase introduced Check It! Before You Chuck It, establishing it as the go-to call to action to help consumers recycle right and know which bin to put their recycling in.  

Subsequent phases communicate key themes including recycled content, soft plastics, packaging reduction and avoidance, and compostable packaging. To continue to deliver key priorities Horizon has engaged in a variety of activities including strategy and creative development, research, stakeholder engagement, media and government engagement, social media, partnerships and content creation.  

Outcomes 

Key outcomes of this ongoing campaign include:  

  • An increase in ARL consumer awareness from 48% in 2019 to 75% in 2021 
  • Campaign messaging featured in 45 pieces of editorial reaching a combined audience of over 25 million across mainstream media including Body & Soul, News.com.au, Herald Sun, The Mercury, The Daily Telegraph and The Advertiser-25,000 cumulative views for animations  
  • Stakeholder toolkit downloads from October 2020 to December 2021 amounted to 8,585 

Paid partnership successes 

  • NSW/QLD trains advertising reached 2.9 million people through foot traffic 
  • Digital advertising delivered a reach of 2,379,361 
  • Sydney Film Festival reach of 1.3 million people through foot traffic 

The CheckIt! Before You Chuck It campaign met or exceeded all program objectives set and continues to support positive behaviour change.

For a detailed look at the Check It! Before You Chuck It campaign work, view this introduction to the campaign presented through an animation written, designed, and produced by Horizon - Check It! Before You Chuck It.

Horizon has led the strategy and implementation...

“Since 2017, Horizon has led the strategy and implementation of APCO’s complete communications program. Their remit includes messaging, stakeholder engagement, media, social media, and extensive content creation. Bringing a deep understanding of behaviour change science, Horizon has been instrumental in building APCO’s reputation with members, government, and other stakeholders.” 

- Brooke Donnelly, CEO, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) 


Want to read more about our work in consumer communication? Check out these case studies!
The communications and public relations agency delivering outcomes across government, business, sustainability and consumer sectors.
Horizon Communication Group is a privately owned and operated agency responsible for award-winning campaigns. We deliver results through public relations, issues and crisis management, and targeted campaigns. Based in Sydney, we have long term affiliates in every state and territory in Australia.

Horizon Communication Group acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of our land – Australia. We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation as the traditional custodians of this place we now call Sydney.

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