As recycling initiatives become more permanent parts of the waste management systems, it is important that you understand the different materials and the meaning of recycling symbols on various products. The following is a brief look into some of the most popular recycling symbols and what they mean.
The Mobius cycle symbol represents that an item can be recycled, but not necessarily that it has been recycled previously or that it is an item that would be accepted by all recycling plants. The symbol is represented by a triangle that is made up of three arrows going in a loop, this loop representing that an item is able to be recycled. If an item is made up of recycled materials, a percentage will often appear on the side of the symbol and let you know how much of the item is from recycled products!
The Green Dot is more of a promotional sign than anything else and it does not state that a product has been recycled, will be recycled or has been made using recycled products. I(t rather states that the brand and business that produces the product that the Green Dot is on contributes financially to the recovering and recycling of packaging items. This symbol is mostly used in Europe and is represented by a green do with an image of an arrow within it.
There are a variety of different plastic symbols that represent the different ways that different plastic items should be recycled. The symbols differentiate according to the type of plastic they are and are represented by using numbers within a triangle that is made up of three arrows. The recycling symbols 1-7 represent the 7 types of plastics and the 7 ways that these individual plastics should be recycled. Recycling symbols on plastics are extremely important to look at when recycling plastic products and making sure that you separate and clean each item will go a long to helping recycling plants better organise the items that need to be recycled.
The aluminium recycling logo is within a circle made up of two arrows, with an AI symbol in the middle of it. This symbol represents that the aluminium product can be recycled in an aluminium or mixed metal plant. It is extremely important that these products be washed, particularly if they have been used with food products, as this could contaminate the materials when mixed together.
Getting rid of electronic items should be done with care and there are many different e-waste plants that are responsible for breaking down certain electronic items carefully. If you come across an electronic item that has a crossed-out wheelie bin, you should note that this is not an item that can be discarded in the normal trash. E-waste plants are careful to recycle these kinds of items, being careful not to release any harmful chemicals.
Seed symbols are generally found on items that are compostable, and if an item carries this symbol it is important that you not place this item with our recycled products. Compostable items are able to break down on their own and therefore cannot be recycled. It is important to look out for this symbol because if placed with recyclable items, the materials can become contaminated and therefore not be processed. Compostable items can be placed with other composting items, in your general composting trash area, be it a bin or even a compost heap in your garden.
Like with plastics, there are a few different paper recycling symbols, ranging from 20 – 23. the different paper products are recycled in different ways and it is important to note the different types of recycling needed for different types of paper products. The number is placed within a triangle that is made up of arrows, and often has PAP written at the bottom of it. Paper is one of the most important items to ensure that you recycle, so be sure to carefully review the different recycling symbols and know how best to distribute each kind to their respective recycling plants.
Why Is It Important to Pay Attention to Recycling Symbols?
Paying attention to recycling symbols is extremely important, and items that get mixed up or contaminated will lead to an entire batch being useless. To properly prepare your items for recycling, you need to clean (if applicable) and separate each individual item according to their recycling symbols. Once you have done, this you will need to take each batch of items to their respective recycling plants for processing. To ensure that you are recycling your items correctly and that they can be processed, ensure that you are familiar with each of the different symbols and have a good system in place to separate the items according to their specific and unique requirements.