October 27, 2011

New recycling labels to debut in 2012

Pilot program will test label designed to promote recycling through better instructions.

By DC Velocity Staff

Making your business more eco-friendly could be as easy as revising your products' labels. According to the sustainability-focused non-profit GreenBlue, confusing or incomplete recycling directions on product labels can discourage consumers from recycling. To address the problem, the organization will soon launch the Packaging Recovery Label System, a voluntary label developed by the organization's Sustainable Packaging Coalition to communicate to consumers how to recycle a package after use.

The goals of the labeling system are to reduce confusion for consumers with clear recycling instructions and to develop a consistent, accurate labeling system for companies that adheres to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) "Green Guides." Participants in the pilot include ConAgra Foods, Costco Wholesale, Microsoft, REI, and Seventh Generation. Following the pilot phase, the label will be available for any interested companies to use.

GreenBlue also released its Labeling for Package Recovery report, which outlines the problems caused by inconsistent and misleading labels on packages, and discusses how an effective labeling scheme could address shortcomings of the U.S. recycling and recovery system. The report can be downloaded for free at www.greenblue.org/publications.

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