Various U.S. industry associations have developed logos for certain types of single material packaging for which a well-established recycling infrastructure exists. We’ve provided a few examples here. Before using these or similar industry logos, be sure you:
- Do not use them in conjunction with other logos that may dilute or complicate the recycling messaging (for example, don’t combine the universal recycling symbol and the Steel Recycling logo).
- Only use them on packaging they are created for (for example, use the Steel Recycling logo only on 100% steel packaging, not multi-material packaging).
- Ensure that the industry association has had the logo validated by the Federal Trade Commission as a correct recycling message that will not deceive consumers.
Be aware that, while some of these industry association logos may be acceptable to use, they could potentially be confusing. Also, to avoid potentially confusing or deceiving consumers, be sure you clearly understand the criteria for using these industry association logos.
StopWaste recommends using the How2Recycle label, which simplifies messaging by not using logos or symbols associated with specific materials or industries.
Steel Recycling Logo
This logo, which is available in various formats, was developed by the Steel Recycling Institute. In packaging, it is mainly used for steel cans. The Steel Recycling Institute asks manufacturers to notify them if they intend to use this logo.
Learn more: http://www.recycle-steel.org
Paperboard Packaging Council Logo
According to the Paperboard Packaging Council, paperboard packaging meets the FTC’s 60% recyclability threshold, so companies packaging their products in paperboard can state that their packaging is recyclable.
The Paperboard Packaging Council’s recyclability logo (free of charge to members and non-members) can be printed on paperboard boxes to indicate to consumers that the package can—and should be—recycled after use.
The logo can only be used on paperboard packaging (not on corrugated, for instance). To comply with the FTC requirement for non-qualified recyclability claims, the logo should NOT be printed on packaging that has direct wet food contact, such as pizza boxes, aseptic packaging, UV-printed boxes, or milk cartons.
Learn more: paperbox.org/logo
International Corrugated Recycles Logo
The International Corrugated Case Association (ICCA) supports the corrugated packaging industry. The ICCA allows its members to use the “Corrugated Recycles” symbols and provides guidelines for their use.
The box in an arrow circle logo may be used on its own or with the term “Corrugated Recycles” in English or other languages. Using the term “Corrugated Recycles” is encouraged but is not mandatory. The ICCA encourages companies to check to ensure there is no conflict with local packaging laws.
To address the recyclability issue of corrugated containers that contain water barriers or water vapor barriers, ICCA developed modified Corrugated Recycles symbols. These may not be used on wax coated corrugated containers (wax coatings cannot be recycled) but can be used on corrugated containers with water protection coatings that do not impose a barrier to recycling.