How2Recycle packaging recycling label gains traction

Seventh Generation toilet paper recycling labelThe Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s (SPC) How2Recycle on-package recycling labeling system, introduced in October 2011, is gaining plenty of extra traction in the US marketplace. Major brands, including Best Buy, Clorox and Minute Maid, will be joining 10 other leading CPG companies already participating in the system’s soft launch, by implementing the label on selected packaging available nationwide early next year. (See my previous Blog post on the label HERE.)

REI Mutli-Towels recycing labelHow2Recycle was developed to reduce consumer confusion around recycling in the US 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’s “Green Guides” while using nationwide recyclability data. While several other recycling labels and symbols exist, the How2Recycle Label is the only one that communicates recyclability across all material types and gives explicit directions to consumers to influence their recycling behavior. It also specifies when a package component is not recyclable.

The How2Recycle Label will be appearing on a new juice product from Minute Maid, Clorox’s Scoop Away products, and select Exclusive Brands products from Best Buy.

Costco Kirkland juice bottle recycling labelThe How2Recycle Label can already be found on numerous products available (or soon to be available) in the marketplace, including Esteé Lauder’s Aveda Outer Peace Acne Pads; a variety of Kirkland products from Costco Wholesale; General Mills’ Yoplait yogurt brand; Microsoft computer accessories; REI’s Novara bicycle accessories, multi-towels, and hang tags; most Seventh Generation products; and Sealed Air’s Fill-Air inflatable packaging.

The soft launch of the label will run through Q1 2013. Full implementation of the label will begin thereafter, SPC says, and will incorporate feedback gathered during the soft launch  from consumers, retailers, participating companies, local governments, trade associations and recyclers. SPC plans to add up to 20 additional participants after the soft launch phase and aims for the label to appear on the majority of consumer product packaging by 2016.

“With the revision of the FTC’s Green Guides now out, attention again has turned to accurate and transparent recyclability messaging, and the SPC’s How2Recycle Label is quickly becoming the industry standard,” says GreenBlue senior mgr. Anne Bedarf. “We designed the business model with a tiered structure to encourage participation by businesses of all sizes, and we look forward to working with a diverse group of forward-thinking companies as we enter the next phase.”

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