Finally: Simplified Recycling Labels Are on Their Way

plastic bottles

photo courtesy: Shafiu Hussain

This is fantastic!

Good Magazine writes:

So you bought a coffee in a disposable cup (it happens) and you want to recycle it. What do you do? Who the hell knows. The fact that the plastic lid has a recycling symbol on it doesn’t necessarily mean you can, in fact, recycle it. It depends on what kind of plastic it is, indicated by that tiny, mysterious number printed inside the recycling logo, and where you live. Some kinds of plastic are recycled almost everywhere; some, like Styrofoam, are rarely ever recycled. Plastics without a number, like utensils, can’t be recycled at all. It’s confusing.

To address that problem, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of the nonprofit group GreenBlue, is working to redesign recycling labels. The group’s current proposal features four labels: “widely recycled,” “limited recycling,” “not recycled,” and “store drop-off.” Unlike the current system, this gives consumers clear, general guidelines, in words. For materials that can only be recycled in certain places, the “limited recycling” label can carry an additional note that might, for example, advice consumers to “check locally.”

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