What To Recycle
COLLECTING and PROCESSING materials are just two parts of the recycling process. To complete the "loop", one must BUY recycled products and materials. Almost all products are “recyclable”, but not all are actually “recycled”. Recycled is more important than recyclable because it means the product is made with material that has been sorted and manufactured in the recycling process. The recycled products are conveniently priced for consumer needs and are normally offered for cheap prices in the market.
It is also important to buy “post-consumer” recycled products because they are made with materials recycled by the public. Your purchases of post-consumer recycled products will ensure that collection, transportation, and recycling technologies get developed. When Buying Recycled, it is important to look for the arrows. The universal recycling symbol is not a trademark, and its use is not regulated. In other words, anyone is free to use the recycling symbol, although local laws may restrict its use in product labeling.
There are many variations to the universal recycling symbol. However, there are two main categories of recycling symbols:
One category is reserved for products which can be recycled after consumption.
This category of recycling symbols usually comprises the Mobius loop, either white with black outline or solid black, such as the two symbols below. In fact, these two symbols are often used interchangeably.
The second category is reserved for products that contain recycled materials, or make use of recycled materials in the manufacturing process.
This category of symbols usually comprises the Mobius loop inside a circle, either black on white or white on black, such as the two symbols below.
The white-on-black version is often used for 100% recycled materials, while the black-on-white version is often for products containing both recycled and non-recycled materials.
For convenience, some manufacturers may also include a label, such as “This product can be recycled” or “This product is made of recycled materials”, along with the symbol for recycling. When a percentage is indicated within the symbol, such as the symbol below, it means that the particular percentage of the product has been made from recycled materials.