New Labels Work to Make Recycling Easier

Has recycling got you down? Do you find yourself standing in the kitchen with an empty plastic bottle in your hand wondering if you should chuck it in the trash or flip it in the recycling bin?  Take heart, help is on the way!

Seventh Generation is now part of a program sponsored by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) that is designing a recycling labeling system aimed at reducing confusion for consumers. The program offers clear instructions on how to recycle a package after its use. The SPC program will also develop a consistent, accurate labeling standard for companies that follows the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) "Green Guides."

So how does the system work? Since recycling systems vary significantly across the country, each package or package component is labeled using one of four categories as shown below:

  • "Widely Recycled" (60% or more of the population has access to recycling the component)
  • "Check Locally" (20% to 60% of the population has access to recycling it)
  • "Not Yet Recycled" (less than 20% of the population has access to recycling)
  • "Store Drop-Off" (plastic bags and films widely recycled at retail locations, like supermarkets)

Look for the new recycling label on two new Seventh Generation products, our 22 oz Prewash Spray and our 180 oz Liquid Laundry Detergent.

You might be surprised by the instructions to leave the cap on the bottles when you recycle them. This is a new direction that the recycling industry has adopted as facilities that turn the bottles into plastic resin have learned how to process the caps as well. Be sure to check out the website referenced on the label, for  information on this new recycling system and on your local recycling system.