The truth about recycling - recycling symbols - Blog

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Monday 3rd September 2018

‘Recycling is a waste of time – it all ends up in landfill anyway’, a common thought perhaps by many of us today. But what really happens to that plastic bottle we avidly dispose of in our recycling bin?

Here at Paper Round we believe in proper recycling, where waste can be transformed back into high quality resources (which can then be recycled again – creating a closed loop!). 

But why is there so much controversy in the recycling world? 

People are confused, and it doesn’t help that there is no national recycling scheme. Different councils claim to recycle different things, so no wonder we start to question if our recycling efforts are even worth it. 

In this blog series we want to sort through the rubbish, so you can make up your own mind about recycling. Each week in September we will be focusing on a misconception in the recycling world.  Uncovering the truth behind them. 

Week 1: Recycling Symbols

These days when you buy a product, the packaging is complete with a range of different symbols – but what do they actually mean? In a world where it is increasingly important to do the right thing and avoid sending waste to landfill, it’s important that we understand exactly what to do with our packaging. Here, we will uncover the true meaning behind common recycling symbols: 

Tidyman – one of the most famous symbols on packaging, albeit doesn’t hold any particular claims. It is simply a reminder to consumers to dispose of the waste correctly. 

The ‘Green dot’. To most, this symbol indicates that an item can be recycled. However, this symbol does not necessarily mean that the packaging is recyclable or has been made from recycled materials. In fact, it is simply means that the producer has made a contribution towards the recovery and recycling of packaging in Europe. Misleading, we think so. 

The ‘Mobius Loop’. This symbol indicates that the packaging is ‘capable’ of being recycled – that does not mean that it will be accepted and recycled everywhere. If you see the mobius loop with a percentage shown in the middle – this means that X% recycled material was used to make the product. 

This logo certifies that the packaging is ‘industrially compostable’. Compostable packaging has caused a lot of controversy in recent years. Currently there are no facilities in a proximity to London with the technology to break down compostable packaging. Therefore always check with your waste provider first which bin these should go into.

WEEE logo. This symbol appears on any electrical or electronic equipment and indicates to consumers that you should not place these items into the general waste container. Instead, these should be collected by a licensed carrier.

Recycling symbols can be a bit of a minefield. If you are unsure, check with your waste provider before you chuck! 

Jessica Parrilla

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