Always Check the Label: Guide to Understanding Popular Recycling Symbols

The world of recycling is something we are accustom to by now. We all know the drill; plastics, paper   and metals all in one bin, never in general waste – well this is the hope. But, have you ever considered that not all plastics are recyclable?! Frustratingly, only 9% of plastic is actually recycled, that’s a massive 91% of all plastic dumped in landfill, the oceans amongst others [source: national geographic] But, if we became more savvy with both our purchases as well as recycling correctly, a huge difference can be had.
Today I want to talk more about the various recycling labels that can be found on the backs of our food items. There is a mass amount by now, with some often not as self-explanatory as others, therefore I hope to provide a handy guide for the next time you have an item to recycle
The above logo as pictured, named the ‘Recycle Now‘ symbol is aimed to provide clear cut instructions of how exactly your item can be recycled
Taking my glass jar of mayonnaise as an example here, you can clearly see the jar itself can be recycled pretty easily, with the cap, made of aluminium, possibly being but you must check first with your local council (or simply look at the instruction on your recycling bin). As some councils are particular in the types of materials they are able to recycle. 
The ‘Recycle Now’ logo also has other varieties which includes the black label simply having ‘Not Currently Recycled’ – therefore unfortunately you must put it in the bin (or look for alternative recycling centres such as Terracycle who take items that local councils often don’t!) As well as ‘Recycle With Carrier Bags at Larger Stores’, meaning large supermarkets will often have specialised recycling bins for items (such a food bags) with this label. 

The above glass jar has two symbols which are often confused for what they really mean. The left symbol, of a person putting something in the bin, is a reminder to dispose of the item appropriately.  With the right symbol, a circle with two arrows intertwined meaning the company have made efforts to make the packaging recyclable (but may not be taken for recycling from some authorities).  

The above glass jar has two symbols which are often confused for what they really mean. The left symbol, of a person putting something in the bin, is a reminder to dispose of the item appropriately.  With the right symbol, a circle with two arrows intertwined meaning the company have made efforts to make the packaging recyclable (but may not be taken for recycling from some authorities).  

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: