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Recycling Logo Guide

There are a number of symbols which commonly appear on packaging products. Some of these indicate whether the item is recyclable, while others show the recycled material content.

Plastics

There are a wide range of plastics used in packaging. To make sorting and thus recycling easier, the American Society of Plastics Industry developed a standard marking code to help consumers identify and sort the main types of plastic. These logos are engraved in the plastic and describe the type of plastic used for sorting purposes only. The logos do not indicate that the products are recycled or recyclable These types and their most common uses are shown below:

Codes

Material

Packaging Applications

Recycled Products

PET
Polyethylene terephthalate - Soda Bottles, Water Bottles, and oven-ready meal trays.
Fiber, tote bags, clothing, film and sheet, food and beverage containers, carpet, strapping, fleece wear, luggage and bottles.
HDPE
High-density polyethylene - Bottles for milk and cleaning fluids.
Liquid laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner and motor oil bottles; pipe, buckets, crates, flower pots, garden edging, film and sheet, recycling bins, benches, dog houses, plastic lumber, floor tiles, picnic tables, fencing.
PVC
Polyvinyl chloride - Food trays, cling film, bottles for shampoo.
Packaging, loose-leaf binders, decking, paneling, gutters, mud flaps, film and sheet, floor tiles and mats, resilient flooring, cassette trays, electrical boxes, cables, traffic cones, garden hose, mobile home skirting.
LDPE
Low density polyethylene - Shopping bags and Garbage Bag liners.
Automobile battery cases, signal lights, battery cables, brooms, brushes, ice scrapers, oil funnels, bicycle racks, rakes, bins, pallets, sheeting, trays.
PP
Polypropylene - Margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays.
Automobile battery cases, signal lights, battery cables, brooms, brushes, ice scrapers, oil funnels, bicycle racks, rakes, bins, pallets, sheeting, trays.
PS
Polystyrene - Yoghurt cups, foam meat, poultry or fish trays, egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys.
Thermometers, light switch plates, thermal insulation, egg cartons, vents, desk trays, rulers, license plate frames, foam packing, foam plates, cups, utensils.
OTHER
Any other plastics that do not fall into any of the above categories. - An example is melamine, which is often used in plastic plates and cups. Bottles, plastic lumber applications.

Biocompostable

If you see these symbols - it means you can put the packaging into your compost heap. This is a relatively new symbol found on biocompostable plastic packaging. The symbol signifies that the packaging has been tested, and is suitable for putting into industrial and home compost heaps.

 

Cardboard

The above symbol, called the Mobius loop, is most commonly found on cardboard packaging and denotes that the item is recyclable. If the centre of the loop contains a number, this means that the item is made from a certain percentage of recycled materials.

 

Glass

While most glass containers are recyclable, this symbol reminds consumers to recycle glass jars and bottles, either at bottle banks or, where available, through curbside collection schemes.

Definitions

Dow Jones Sustainable Index

Launched in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes provides a financial quantification of member companies' sustainability strategy and their management of sustainability opportunities, risks and costs. Because "What gets measured, gets done", they will be motivated to increase long-term shareholder value by integrating economic, environmental and social factors in their business strategies.

Life Cycle Inventory

A product's life cycle starts when raw materials are extracted from the earth, followed by manufacturing, transport and use, and ends with waste management including recycling and final disposal. At every stage of the life cycle there are emissions and consumption of resources. The environmental impacts from the entire life cycle of products and services need to be addressed. To do this, life cycle thinking is required.

Metrics

Quantitative Measurements

Monopack

Package that is made from same material for easy sorting and recycling

Supply Chain Efficiency

Two supply chains exist in virtually all forms of commerce, the physical supply chain and the financial supply chain. The management of the physical supply chain has evolved from physical logistics management to more sophisticated transaction management and now to planning and collaboration between trading partners. Most companies have spent the last few years focused on improving physical supply chain efficiency. Some of the benefits include shorter time to market, reduced production costs, reduced inventory costs, and better collaboration between trading parties.

Third Party Certifications

Independent laboratories that quantify the performance of products.

Glossary


Bagasse

Remains of sugar cane pulp after juice is extracted, used to make bi-products such as packaging, paper and absorbent products.

Biocompostable

Plastic and paper products, which disintegrate and biodegrade completely and safely when composted in a municipal or commercial facility (such as yard trimmings and food scraps) Biocomposting is usually completed within 90 days. Biocompatibility will be faster if the products are broken down to small pieces or ground up. Certain packages from renewable resources, like those made from PLA and Sugar Cane, can be composted in your own backyard

Biodegradable

Materials that decompose, usually by bacteria or sunlight, into original organic components within a reasonably short period of time. Most organic materials (paper, grass clippings, food scraps), under the right conditions, are biodegradable.

Bioplastic

Plastics made from corn, potato or other annually renewable sources which are compostable & biodegradable.

Compost

A crumbly, earthy, sweet smelling mixture of decomposing organic matter (e.g. leaves, food scraps, grass clippings) that is often used to improve the texture, water retaining capacity and aeration (opposite of clumps) of soil.

Eco-efficiency

Do more with less of our resources.

Life Cycle Analysis

The key measurement tool for environmental sustainability is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA is a technique for assessing the environmental impacts associated with a product (or service), covering all stages in a product's life.

Life Cycle Inventory

A product's cycle starts when raw materials are extracted from the earth, followed by manufacturing, transport and use, and ends with waste management including recycling and final disposal. At every stage of the life cycle there are emissions and consumption of resources. The environmental impacts from the entire life cycle of products and services need to be addressed. To do this, life cycle thinking is required.

Monopack

This refers to a package that is made from same materials for easy sorting and recycling. An aluminum can with a paper label is not a monopack.

A plastic milk jug and the plastic cap are usually made from the same plastic material (HDPE with the number 2 recycling logo) and is a monopack.

Packaging

Protects the food we buy. Usually it cannot be eliminated or compromised.

PLA - PolyLactic Acid

Is a product made from corn-starch, with a look and feel like petroleum based plastic. PLA is the one of the most commonly used bioplastics for making products.

Recyclable

Material that still has useful physical or chemical properties after serving its original purpose and can be reused or remanufactured to make new products. Plastic, paper, glass, steel and aluminum cans, and use oil are examples of recyclable materials.

Source Reduction

Eliminate waste and use less packaging

Sustainability

Actions we take that support quality of life now and for future generations

Acronyms


CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility

EDLP

Everyday Low Prices EPP - Environment Preferred Products

GHG

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

LOHAS Consumer

Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability Consumers

VPI

Value Producing Items

 

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