PHOENIX (October 4, 2018)—Picture this: A 20-something male shuffles into the kitchen to make breakfast. After dumping out sour milk on the floor, tossing eggshells over his shoulder and dropping a coffeepot on the ground so hard it shatters, you’re cringing at the way this guy treats his home. Why would he do that?

That’s the question a new campaign for Don’t Trash Arizona wants you to ask. You would never trash your home like that, so why would you trash the highways in the beautiful state we call home?

“Arizona is our home. Love it. Don’t trash it!” is the catchphrase you’ll hear on the radio, view online, see playing at the gas pump, or even watch pass by on a light rail train. The messy scene described above is part of a new public service announcement with the same theme. The spot ends with the ultimate goal of the campaign: A contrasting scene of Arizona beauty.

Don’t Trash Arizona is a litter prevention campaign implemented by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). The goal is to address the economic, safety and health impacts of freeway litter along regional and state highways. The program began in 2006, but is being updated with a new look and feel.

“This campaign tells the story that our state is a place to take pride in and keep clean,” says MAG Chair Gail Barney, mayor of Queen Creek. “The campaign uses a tongue-in-cheek approach to promote mindful behavior with a sense of pride and ownership in Arizona.”

The messages target not only general littering behavior but also cigarette butt litter and dangerous debris from unsecured loads. Using yellow road stripes over black pavement, the graphic visuals emphasize:

  • Arizona is not your ashtray.
  • Arizona is not your trashcan.
  • Arizona is not your junkyard.
  • Arizona is our home. Love it, don’t trash it!

The Don’t Trash Arizona campaign targets males aged 19-24, often found to be the worst litter offenders. The strategy is to use attention-grabbing content to engage this audience on the platforms where they spend most of their time.

Litter not only costs Arizona taxpayers $4 million each year to clean up roadways, but it is unhealthy for the environment and for us. It also causes serious accidents on our roads. Keeping our roadways beautiful is important to the quality of life in the region and the image projected to visitors and prospective businesses. For more, visit www.DontTrashArizona.com.

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