Two Articles on Recycling Symbols in One Month

The Recycling Symbol..ie, the Mobius Strip, is an iconic addition to most packaging today. These articles address the real issue with recycling symbols and how it is time for that symbol to evolve or better yet, for the packaging industry to finally be truthful.

recycling symbol

The articles focus heavily on plastic since this is one area where the recycling symbol has been the most confusing. Just because the symbol is on a package does not mean that the package can be recycled. The articles accurately point out that the recycling symbol on most plastic packaging, with a number in the middle, was not designed for the consumer, but for industry and recycling centers.

The problem with using the recycling symbol at all is the conclusion that people jump to when seeing it…If it is there, it must be recyclable…and if I put it out at the curb, it will be collected and made into something new.

WRONG…This symbol has been one of the most widely abused, and in turn, one of the most misrepresented symbols used.

Let’s simplify this to a degree…

1. The symbol only means that the material is identified…especially in plastics.
2. Most plastic resins have a very limited market.
1. Only #1 and #2 are nearly universally accepted, processed and made into new products.
2. #5 has regionally strong markets where it can be made into new products…but it is not yet universally collected and processed into new products.
3. Many packages use this symbol, and its modern updates that attempt to show how to recycle the package in an attempt to educate the consumer….BUT again, it is very regional…

In other words…check locally….each area is different…

Lastly, write to product producers and tell them that you want them to be truthful in their labeling of products and packages. Call them out on this…They can simplify the packaging…and use only recyclable materials…but it takes time and energy and many companies just want to greenwash instead.

Read The Full Article Here:
Can Plastic Recycling Ever Really Work?
His Recycling Symbol Is Everywhere. The E.P.A. Says It Shouldn’t Be.

Leave a Reply