Original recycling icon designed by Gary Anderson.
The recycling icon has come a long way since its birth in the seventies, which was designed by Gary Anderson when he was an architecture student. It’s one of the most famous icons in the world, and yet, is misunderstood by most. Over the past four decades, its use has become quite ubiquitous and it is often misconstrued. People are still confused about what they can and can’t recycle, and often assume that the symbol’s presence automatically means an item is recyclable. Plastic resin identification codes only indicate the type of plastic, and do not give information about an item’s recyclability. In an effort to reduce confusion and improve recycling rates, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of GreenBlue, has introduced their “How 2 Recycle” recycling label. Soft launch participants include ConAgra Foods, Costco Wholesale, Seventh Generation, Microsoft, REI, Ampac, The Estee Lauder Companies, General Mills, Sealed Air and BJ’s Wholesale Club. Additionally, GreenBlue recently announced that Best Buy, Clorox and Minute Maid will also implement the new recycle label on select products in 2013.
The goals of the “How 2 Recycle” label are: to reduce consumer confusion about what items you can recycle and how by implementing a national recycle label that is clear and easy to understand; to improve the reliability of recyclability claims; and to incentivize companies to participate in a program that follows the FTC Green Guides.
The soft launch is scheduled to run through the first quarter of 2013, and full implementation of the new recycling label is expected to follow. GreenBlue hopes that the label will be used on a majority of consumer product packaging by the year 2016.
Click here to view a gallery of images showing products with the new recycling label.
What do you think? Does the new labeling system make it easier to understand how to recycle?