May 31, 2012 • By

Making sense of recycling

Have you ever wished there was one easy way to determine what you can put in the recycle bin?

The new How2Recycle label is now appearing on leading consumer brands, including Yoplait fridge pack yogurt, to help consumers make easy recycling decisions.

The label was developed by the nonprofit GreenBlue and its Sustainable Packaging Coalition, which includes retailers and manufacturers from the consumer packaged goods industry, including General Mills.

The label can be customized by using up to four available icons including: Widely Recycled, Limited Recycling/Check Locally, Not Yet Recycled, and Store Drop-off.

I recently spoke with Anne Bedarf, from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. She says that the How2Recycle logo presents a simple standard format for communicating recycling information.

As its use becomes more widespread and consumers become more familiar with it, it can greatly simplify recycling communication for consumers.

“The label is reflective of the current state of affairs of recycling,” says Bedarf. “Ideally, we’d have a ‘yes or no, recyclable or not,’ but we know there’s so much variation in terms of recycling process technology. We really hope we can encourage people to get to know their local system, particularly for those types of things like the yogurt cup.”

Yoplait has adopted three elements of the How2Recycle label to clearly communicate the recyclability of the various packaging elements in the fridge pack.

Often times, consumers abide by the notion that if a carton has been used for refrigerated or frozen food, they shouldn’t put it in their recycling bin.

A good rule of thumb, there are actually cartons that can be recycled. The challenge has been that but consumers have no way of instantly knowing.

Use of the How2Recycle label provides additional clarity to consumers on which cartons for refrigerated and frozen products are recyclable. The Yoplait fridge pack carton is widely recyclable, as the label will indicates, starting in July.

The label also encourages consumers to check the local recyclability of plastic yogurt cups via Many Yoplait consumers are likely to find out for the first time that they can recycle yogurt cups in their community.

Again, the How2Recycle label will start appearing on Yoplait fridge packs sold at national retailers in July.