Understanding Recycling Labels

Understanding Recycling Labels

Lets Learn What The Labels Mean

Recycling labels can be confusing. With a number of labels not relevant in the UK, or some labels previously incorrectly taught that need rectifying.
Below are some of the more common recycling labels you will find on your packaging. If you are still unsure, please visit your local council’s website for clarification.

Widely Recycled

This label is applied to packaging that is collected by 75% or more of local authorities across the UK, for example plastic bottles.

Widely Recycled - Rinse

Rinsing packaging, for example food trays, ensures that any food residue doesn’t contaminate other materials, particularly if they are collected together with paper. It also helps to stop attracting vermin into the recycling sorting centres where people work.

Widely Recycled

This label is applied to packaging that is collected by 75% or more of local authorities across the UK, for example plastic bottles.

Widely Recycled - Rinse

Rinsing packaging, for example food trays, ensures that any food residue doesn’t contaminate other materials, particularly if they are collected together with paper. It also helps to stop attracting vermin into the recycling sorting centres where people work.

Christchurch Eco - Widely Recycled - Flatten, Cap On

Widely Recycled - Flatten, Cap On

Flatten – you might see this on plastic bottles and drinks cartons. Squashing or flattening the packaging means that you have more space in your recycling bin. It also makes the transport of recycling much more efficient Cap On - you might see this on plastic bottles. If the cap is too small then it will fall through the holes in the sorting process, designed to remove contamination. Keeping the cap on means that all of the packaging will get through the recycling process. When recycling is collected all mixed together it also helps to prevent other materials, particularly glass, getting stuck inside the bottles.

Christchurch Eco - Widely Recycled - Rinse, Lid On

Widely Recycled - Rinse, Lid On

You might see thise on a glass jar, for example. These items should be rinsed, as above, and their lids left on. Even though the lid of the jar might be metal, it is better to be kept on. If the metal lid is too small then it will fall through holes in the sorting process, designed to remove contamination. The metal is separated from the glass by the glass recyclers and goes off to be recycled elsewhere.

Christchurch Eco - Widely Recycled - Flatten, Cap On

Widely Recycled - Flatten, Cap On

Flatten – you might see this on plastic bottles and drinks cartons. Squashing or flattening the packaging means that you have more space in your recycling bin. It also makes the transport of recycling much more efficient Cap On - you might see this on plastic bottles. If the cap is too small then it will fall through the holes in the sorting process, designed to remove contamination. Keeping the cap on means that all of the packaging will get through the recycling process. When recycling is collected all mixed together it also helps to prevent other materials, particularly glass, getting stuck inside the bottles.

Christchurch Eco - Widely Recycled - Rinse, Lid On

Widely Recycled - Rinse, Lid On

You might see thise on a glass jar, for example. These items should be rinsed, as above, and their lids left on. Even though the lid of the jar might be metal, it is better to be kept on. If the metal lid is too small then it will fall through holes in the sorting process, designed to remove contamination. The metal is separated from the glass by the glass recyclers and goes off to be recycled elsewhere.

Widely Recycled At Recycling Centres

Metal paint cans can be recycled at recycling centres. Some paint can also be recycled. Check with your local council.

Bottle - Widely Recycled, Sleeve - Not Yet Recycled

Remove sleeve – depending on the packaging it can be good to remove the outer sleeve. For example, a paper sleeve that is wrapped around a large yoghurt pot can be removed and recycled with paper. Sometimes the sleeves are not recyclable and therefore the instruction is to remove the sleeve and put it in the waste bin. If it doesn’t say either way, then you can probably leave it on and it will be removed during the recycling process.

Widely Recycled At Recycling Centres

Metal paint cans can be recycled at recycling centres. Some paint can also be recycled. Check with your local council.

Bottle - Widely Recycled, Sleeve - Not Yet Recycled

Remove sleeve – depending on the packaging it can be good to remove the outer sleeve. For example, a paper sleeve that is wrapped around a large yoghurt pot can be removed and recycled with paper. Sometimes the sleeves are not recyclable and therefore the instruction is to remove the sleeve and put it in the waste bin. If it doesn’t say either way, then you can probably leave it on and it will be removed during the recycling process.

Recycle With Bags At Larger Stores: Check Locally for Kerbside

Some plastic films can be recycled at supermarket's carrier bag collection points. Look out for the 'Recycle with carrier bags at larger stores' message on your breakfast cereal, toilet and kitchen roll wraps, bread bag, grocery produce, multipack shrink wrap and newspaper and magazine wraps.

Widely Recycled At Recycling Points: Check Locally For Kerbside

Food and drink cartons, e.g. Tetra Paks are collected by many local authorities and can also be recycled at many recycling centres.

Recycle With Bags At Larger Stores: Check Locally for Kerbside

Some plastic films can be recycled at supermarket's carrier bag collection points. Look out for the 'Recycle with carrier bags at larger stores' message on your breakfast cereal, toilet and kitchen roll wraps, bread bag, grocery produce, multipack shrink wrap and newspaper and magazine wraps.

Widely Recycled At Recycling Points: Check Locally For Kerbside

Food and drink cartons, e.g. Tetra Paks are collected by many local authorities and can also be recycled at many recycling centres.

Not Yet Recycled

This label is applied to packaging when less than 20% of local authorities collect it across the UK, for example crisp packets.

Check Locally

This label is applied to packaging that is collected by 20-75% of local authorities across the UK, for example some types of plastic packaging.

Not Yet Recycled

This label is applied to packaging when less than 20% of local authorities collect it across the UK, for example crisp packets.

Check Locally

This label is applied to packaging that is collected by 20-75% of local authorities across the UK, for example some types of plastic packaging.