Recycling Symbols On Packaging

Recycling Symbols On Packaging

Whats on this page?

On your plastic packaging, you will find various recycling symbols and signs on labels. But what exactly do they all mean?

Recycling symbols on packaging will tell you whether the material can be recycled, and what the product is made from.

What Are The Different Recycling Signs On Packaging?

Widely Recycled

This symbol, featuring the circular shape with a heart, simply means that the product you are using can be recycled easily. The sign actually represents that your material is collected by 75% or more of local authorities across the UK.

Rinsed, Widely Recycled

If food residue is left on this plastic packaging, it can contaminate the material. The residue may then contaminate other materials for recycling when collected.

Not Currently Recycled

This symbol shows that the product is difficult to and not commonly recycled. It presents that less than 20% of local councils currently collect this packaging for recycling.

Recycle, Rinse, Lid-On

Caps and lids, commonly from plastic bottles, are under 40mm in diameter. This makes them too small to be captured for recycling. The small size means that they can hinder the sorting process, and should be put back on the plastic product when recycling.

Recycle With Bags At Large Supermarkets, Don’t Recycle At Home

This is commonly found on plastic wrapping such as bread bags and crisp packets. The sign means that your waste cannot be recycled at home, and should be taken to designated recycling points. 

This is because the lightweight flexible material can wrap around recycling machinery and cause jams, and needs specialist assistance.

Recycle, Bottle Cap on, Don’t Recycle, Remove Sleeve

This sign can be found on many soft drink bottles, where sleeves and thin plastic films are often wrapped around the bottle. The sleeve or extra material should be removed and thrown in the rubbish, whilst your bottle can then be recycled.

Green Dot

The green dot shows that the producer of your packaging has made an investment towards the recovery and recycling of packaging in Europe. This symbol, however, does not show whether the material can or cannot be recycled.

Mobius Loop

This symbol shows that a product can be recycled. It does not show whether or not the material itself has been produced from recycled waste.

Plastic Resin Code

The plastic resin code includes the triangular recycling symbol surrounding a number. These numbers range from 1 – 7, which correspond to different types of plastic waste. An example includes number 4, which is the code for LDPE.

The Importance Of Understanding Recycling Symbols On Packaging

By understanding the recycling symbols on your packaging, you can ensure that waste is recycled safely. Following these instructions minimises the risk of contamination and difficulties involved in the recycling process, further helping to increase recycling rates for plastic packaging.

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