CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Messages about recycling are common, but are often vague, misleading, or just plain incorrect. But now, major brand names Yoplait, Esteé Lauder Companies, Sealed Air, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and manufacturer Ampac seek to change that. This summer, these leading companies join several members of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition – ConAgra Foods, Costco Wholesale, Microsoft, REI and Seventh Generation – in introducing the How2Recycle Label, a voluntary recycling label developed by the nonprofit GreenBlue and its Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC).
The goal of the How2Recycle Label is to reduce consumer confusion in the U.S. with a clear and consistent recycling label and corresponding informational website. It provides companies with an easy way to conform to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “Green Guides” while using nationwide recyclability data.
“Consumers are faced with a confusing landscape of material and recycling messages that are often inconsistent or misleading,” said GreenBlue Senior Manager Anne Bedarf, who has led development of the label for the SPC. “We believe this label will help consumers and companies more effectively communicate recyclability and contribute to more successful resource recovery.”
The How2Recycle Label is based on the successful On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) system in the United Kingdom and was developed through more than three years of research, stakeholder engagement, extensive consumer testing, and a national effort to collect updated recyclability data in conjunction with industry partners.
With this new system, companies can customize package labels by utilizing up to four available options (with associated icons) including: Widely Recycled, Limited Recycling/”Check Locally,” Not Yet Recycled, and a “Store Drop-off” label for bags, wraps and other films accepted at retail locations. Each unique component of a package will be labeled. Sealed Air’s Fill-Air Inflatable packaging and Ampac’s No. 2 Pouch™ will be the first to use the “Store Drop-off” label. General Mills’ Yoplait yogurt brand on its fridge pack and Esteé Lauder Companies’ Aveda Brand on its Outer Peace Acne Pads will use a combination of icons.
The label is already available in the marketplace on Seventh Generation’s limited edition 180 oz. detergent bottle and new 22 oz. pre-wash spray available at Target stores, in addition to over 50 REI products including Novara bike accessories and Multi-towels. It soon will appear on such products as ConAgra’s Orville Redenbacher popcorn, Microsoft accessories, and a variety of Kirkland Signature brand products from Costco Wholesale.
The How2Recycle Label is endorsed by several state and local governments focused on addressing recycling challenges, including the state of North Carolina, New York City’s Department of Sanitation, and Stopwaste.org which serves Alameda County, California. Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s premier nonprofit working to increasing recycling, also recently endorsed the label.
“We strongly believe that recycling programs across the country and the general public’s commitment to recycling behavior will greatly benefit from a clear and sensible package labeling framework,” said Scott Mouw of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, noting the support of the state for the effort.
The How2Recycle website (www.how2recycle.info) provides information for consumers on the label design, how to check local recycling options, and information for governments and companies interested in adopting or endorsing the label. The introductory launch will continue through early 2013. Companies interested in participating in the launch can contact GreenBlue Senior Manager Anne Bedarf for more information at 434.817.1424 ext. 314 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About GreenBlue and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition
GreenBlue® is a nonprofit that equips business with the science and resources to make products more sustainable. GreenBlue currently works in three program areas: chemicals, packaging, and forest products, as well as working one-on-one with companies through GreenBlue Advisory Services. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of GreenBlue, is an industry working group of approximately 200 companies from across the packaging supply chain.