Food and Beverage Packaging

Recycling how-to label gains traction in national marketplace

December 20, 2012

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), a project of sustainability nonprofit organization, GreenBlue (www.greenblue.org), announces additional participants in the soft launch of its pioneering How2Recycle on-package recycling labeling system. Major brand names, including  Minute Maid, will be joining 10 other companies already participating in the soft launch, including Costco Wholesale and General Mills, in implementing the label on select packaging available nationwide in early Sustainability.jpg2013. Additionally, the SPC has announced its five-year plan for the labeling system.

How2Recycle seeks to reduce consumer confusion around recycling in the United States with a clear and consistent recycling label and corresponding informational website, www.how2recycle.info. It provides companies with an easy way to conform to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “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 and several other consumer packaged goods.

The How2Recycle Label can already be found on numerous products available (or soon to be available) in the marketplace, including a variety of Kirkland products from Costco Wholesale, General Mills’ Yoplait yogurt brand and Sealed Air’s Fill-Air inflatable packaging.

The soft launch of the label will run through the first quarter of 2013. Full implementation of the label will begin thereafter and will incorporate feedback gathered during the soft launch period from consumers, retailers, participating companies, local governments, trade associations and recyclers. The 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.

 “We look forward to taking this long-term SPC project to the next level,” says Anne Bedarf, GreenBlue senior manager. “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. 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.”