Youth Video and Poster Contest

In partnership with JASON Learning, ISRI sponsors an annual video and poster contest for grades K-12 featuring recycling-related themes. With a goal to better educate students on the value of recycling, ISRI urges all its members to get involved by encouraging youth to participate. Reach out to your local schools, community centers, scouting associations, and other groups, and share the contest on your social media feeds. Serve as an industry ambassador and good neighbor and support this year’s contest.

2022-2023 Recycling Video & Poster Contest

Recycling: The Key to Sustainability

Humans depend on a healthy and thriving planet. Earth is our home. Everything we breathe, eat, make, and use traces back to Earth’s resources. A sustainable planet cannot exist without recycling. Recycling ensures that Earth’s valuable resources will continue to be available into the future without damaging the environment. Every time something is recycled, it ensures that we are taking less from a mountainside, forest, or ocean floor.


A cycle is a sequence of events repeating themselves. On a circle, you can begin at any point on the circumference, and eventually work your way back to the same spot, and then repeat! Recycling is like that. Products that have been used once can be transformed into something new and usable again. Printer paper can be recycled and made into cardboard boxes. Cardboard boxes can also be recycled to become paper towels or wrapping paper . . . and the cycle continues. Plastic water bottles can be recycled and turned into shampoo bottles. Shampoo bottles can be recycled and made into traffic cones . . . and the cycle continues!


The use of recyclable materials in manufacturing produces enormous benefits:

  • Maximizes the usability and the sustainability of renewable resources. 
  • Preserves natural resources and eliminates the need for mining, drilling for oil and natural gas, and other harmful environmental practices used to harvest raw materials.
  • Slows the pace of global deforestation.
  • Sends less material to waste.
  • Lowers energy costs.
  • Helps fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Creates thousands of jobs in local communities.
  • Builds a culture among employers and employees of proper environmental, health, and safety practices.

But some products are more recyclable than others. For example, single-use plastics like forks and spoons are often caught in recycling machinery because of their small and narrow shape and are therefore not very recyclable. But plastic bottles are easily recycled — and a bottle you recycle today could end up in the shirt you wear tomorrow!

Your challenge

Tell the story of a previous life of a product made from recycled materials and explain how the creation of this product is the key to sustainability and why it matters.

When a material reaches its end-of-life, it means that it can no longer be recycled or made into something new. The circle is broken and the cycle ends. Keeping materials in the cycle as long as possible is key. The more material that can be recovered, recycled, and made into something new, the better! 


Shoe boxes are typically made of cardboard. After removing the shoes and tissue paper stuffing, that shoe box can be recycled. It can be made into many different things: a pizza box, a toilet paper roll, a shipping box, or countless other forms of paper found in your home. Each time that cardboard is recycled, it takes on a new “life” and continues to be useful!

Create a public service announcement that raises awareness around recycling and why and how recycling can reduce the impact of climate change in your local community and ensure earth’s resources are available for future generations.

Your poster or video should:

  • Highlight a specific product and identify the commodities (materials) that your product is made of. Your product should be made from one or more of the following materials:


Fiber (Paper & Cardboard)





Ferrous Metals (metals containing iron like iron, wrought iron, and steel).

Non-ferrous metals (metals that do not contain iron such as aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, and zinc.)

  • Identify something that is made from recycled material You may need to conduct some research!
  • Research the recycling journey of that product you’ve chosen, including details about the parts that make up your product.  
  • Imagine how many other items your chosen product could have been before its current form. 
  • Explain why recycling is the key to sustainability and important to everyone and better for the earth! 
  • Include a picture or visual representation of your chosen product’s recycling journey!
  • Display the title “RECYCLING: The Key to Sustainability” on the title screen of the actual video or display clearly on the poster itself.
  • Be innovative!  Think creatively!

All entries must be submitted by Friday, December 16, 2022, by 11:59 pm ET

For complete contest guidelines, helpful resources, and more information visit ISRI JASON Learning Video and Poster Contest.

Contest Rules and Submission 

How to Submit 

Enter the Contest

Calling all K-12 Youth!

Recycling is Essential to Jobs and Careers 2

Create something amazing, and you could win the grand prize—a trip to ISRI’s annual convention, taking place April 17-20 in Nashville! The winner(s) and guardian(s) will be invited to the 2023 ISRI Convention & Exposition and be recognized by ISRI and JASON Learning during the conference. In the event the convention does not occur, due to circumstances beyond our control, a presentation will be facilitated in the winner’s city. Finalists’ videos and posters will be featured on the JASON and ISRI websites.

The contest is open to students living in the United States and Canada and enrolled in grades K-12 during the 2022–2023 school year. Students can enter the contest as individuals or as a team of up to four individuals. Each individual or team can submit either a video or a poster to the contest. One grand prize video and poster will be selected from the three grade bands: K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. JASON and ISRI may also acknowledge honorable mentions. All entries must be submitted by December 16, 2022.

Recycling Contest Ask-an-Expert LIVE Events - FREE!

Join experts from ISRI and JASON Learning to learn about this year’s recycling contest! Open to all K-12 students, this is an opportunity for students, teachers, and families to hear from experts in the recycling industry, receive helpful tips, and to ask questions. This is also a great opportunity for students who are undecided about entering and wish to learn more. Come join us!

Please note, all students under the age of 18 must register for this event with an adult (family member, teacher, parent, or guardian).

Choose one of the following times:

October 4, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST

Click here to Register

November 2, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST

Click here to Register

Award Presentations Archive

2021 Winners – Fifth-grader Irene Park, from Fairburn Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles, CA is the 2021 poster grand prize winner; and Sophomores Nadia Islam, Ada Johnsen-DeWeese, and Rosemarie Alubankudi, from Life Sciences Secondary School in New York, NY are the 2021 video grand prize winners.
Past Winners:

2020 Winner   |   2019 Winners  |   2017 Winners   |   2016 Winners   |   2015 Winners

Have Questions?

Abigail Shaw
Administrative Assistant, Sustainability
(202) 662-8537