Green Living

Just What Do All Those Recycling Symbols Mean?

Recycling symbols. They’re everywhere. While some are easy to identify, some of the others ones might be cloaked in a bit of mystery for those “not in the know”. Find out what all those little symbols mean and upgrade your recycling game. 

Recycled Items

These three arrows curled up in a circle indicate that an item is made of recycled materials. The colors of the symbol indicate what portion of the item is recycled. Black arrows against a white background mean that the item is made up of new and reused materials. This symbol should also indicate a percentage, as well as what part of the item is made up of these combo materials. White arrows against a black background means the item is 100% recycled.

Just What Do All Those Recycling Symbols Mean?

Recyclable Items

Three curved white arrows is the universal symbol that an item is made up of recyclable materials. All you have to do is decide when and where to recycle your item after use.

Just What Do All Those Recycling Symbols Mean?


Sierra Trading Post

Plastic Recycling

These symbols represent the type of plastic used and its recyclability. The higher the number indicated at the center of the arrows, the less common the plastic. The less common the plastic, the harder it is to recycle.

Just What Do All Those Recycling Symbols Mean?

Industry Symbols

The world of recycling has many more symbols, each one differing based on the industry the item was constructed by. Organizations like the Electronic Recyclers International or Recycled Paperboard Alliance have their own trademarked badges, which are separated from the other recycling monograms. These organizations work closely with producers to ensure that industry standards are adhered to.

Just What Do All Those Recycling Symbols Mean?



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