Recycling Symbols

Recycling Symbols Explained

There are various types of recycling logos found on every day products and packaging.

The logos identify the material and if you can recycle the item or not.

Here are some common recycling symbols and the explanation of what the symbol means:

Aluminium Recycling Logo

This recycling symbol indicates that the material is aluminium and can be placed into an aluminium or mixed metal recycling container. If this is from a food or drinks container please wash the item prior to recycling. Most local recycling facilities or recycling containers at a drop off facility will accept aluminium.

Compostable Logo

This relatively new recycling symbol indicates that a packaging material is compostable. You may see this logo on certain types of carrier bags, garden waste bags, fresh produce containers and tableware. These products when placed in a compost container will break down into small pieces within 90 days leaving no toxic residue. This symbol is a registered trademark of European Bioplastics.

Recycling Logo / Mobius Loop

The Mobius Loop recycling logo is the widest used recycling symbol.

If on a product or material, it means you can recycle it. Check with your recycling centre. Just because you can recycle it, doesn't mean they can.

A percentage figure inside the logo, means it is has that amount of recycled material.

Recycle Now Logo

This recycling icon is the logo of Recycle Now, the national recycling campaign for England. You will often see this logo at your local recycling facility and local authority recycling vehicles, literature and recycling containers. You may also see the Recycle Now logo on products to highlight whether it can be recycled in the UK, for example a plastic water bottle.

Steel Recycling Logo

This recycling symbol indicates that the material is steel and this material is widely recycled. If this is from a food or drinks container please wash the item prior to recycling. Most local recycling facilities or recycling containers at a drop off facility will accept steel.

Tidyman Logo

Although the Tidyman logo does not directly relate to recycling, it is there as a reminder to place waste items into an appropriate waste container. In public areas within the UK, for example, a shopping centre, you will often find waste bins, next to separate recycling containers. So please observe the best place for your waste, and please do not litter.

WEEE Logo

The crossed out wheelie bin logo appears on any electrical or electronic equipment produced after 13th August 2005. This symbol explains that you should not place electrical items into the general waste container, instead take your items to your local recycling facility a specific Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment container or company. A similar logo can be found on batteries, without the black bar underneath.

Do you know your types of plastics? Our useful guide helps identify them in order to increase their recycling.