The future of the planet belongs to today’s youth, and we have a feeling it’s in pretty good hands — kids today are savvier about recycling than ever before. Now, they can put that knowledge to good use in pursuit of winning fun prizes, including a new bike, in PETE’s Bathroom Bin Challenge, a contest sponsored by Care To Recycle, a program of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. and Scholastic.

To enter, first- through third-graders are asked to write a short essay accompanied by a poster that shows why recycling personal-care products, such as shampoo and lotion bottles, is important, and how they will encourage their family to recycle more of these products.

Knowledge Is Power

In general, kids are great recyclers — 60 percent are always looking for ways to protect the planet, according to the 2014 Cone Communications Recycling in the Home Survey, done in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. — but they may not know that products in the bathroom, such as shampoo bottles and toilet paper rolls, can be recycled.

The earlier they learn what goes in the recycling bin, the greater impact they can have on the health of the planet. To help kids discover what bathroom products make the recycling cut, the contest also comes with materials that include several lesson plans for teachers, take-home student activities for parents and other recycling resources. Teachers can find these materials at, and parents can visit to get their recycling resources.

Get Rewarded for Recycling

Ten grand-prize winners (that includes both the student and the teacher or parent who submits the contest entry) will receive the following prizes, worth approximately $1,000 each:

  • Student Winners: A kid’s bike, a helmet and a National Parks pass
  • Teacher/Parent Winners: A $500 gift card and a Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. product gift pack

PETE’s Bathroom Bin Challenge runs through Oct. 27. Get the official rules here.

Editor’s Note: Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. Care to Recycle is one of these partners.

By Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is based in Seattle, where recycling is just as cool as Macklemore, walking in the rain without an umbrella, and eating locally sourced food. She writes for a wide range of publications, covering everything from sustainability to fitness to travel. Read more of her work here.