About This Guide

What Is This Guide?

This guide is designed to help Alameda County businesses comply with requirements governing environmental marketing claims on packaging. It also provides information about labeling and certification issues related to the recyclability of packaging. In addition, it gives recommendations for using the How2Recycle label—a voluntary, standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the U.S. public. 

Why Use This Guide?

Unclear labeling and inaccurate recyclability claims can make proper recycling of packaging materials a challenge for consumers. For example, claims about recyclability without information about locally available recycling infrastructure leads to confusion, incorrect sorting of recyclables and garbage, and higher costs for processing of recycled materials. Inappropriate claims about recyclability or other environmental attributes such as reusability, compostability, degradability may also create a legal liability for businesses and may damage their brand’s reputation. 

The guidance provided here will help Alameda County businesses ensure that the environmental claims and markings on their packaging are appropriate. By taking a responsible approach to environmental claims on your packaging, you can boost customers’ confidence in your company’s commitment to sustainable businesses practices.

Who Is This Guide For?

This guide is intended for use by the packaging development, design, marketing and sustainability staff of businesses based in or selling packaged consumer products in Alameda County, California. 

Why Did StopWaste Develop This Guide?

StopWaste is a public agency responsible for reducing waste in Alameda County. We offer information and resources to help businesses, public agencies and other organizations in Alameda County recycle more and waste less. Because packaging can generate a lot of waste, we work with local businesses to optimize packaging design and adopt labeling that supports recycling, such as the How2Recycle label.

Learn more about how we can help your business at StopWaste.org.