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SPC's How2Recycle label gains momentum

Several additional leading consumer packaged goods companies sign on to participate in the SPC’s soft launch of its How2Recycle on-package recycling labeling system.

How2Recycle2.jpgThe Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), a project of sustainability nonprofit GreenBlue, has announced additional participants in the soft launch of its How2Recycle on-package recycling labeling system. Major brand names, including Best Buy, Clorox, and Minute Maid, will be joining the 10 other companies already participating in the soft launch, including Costco Wholesale, General Mills, Seventh Generation, and REI, in implementing the label on select packaging available nationwide in early 2013. Additionally, the SPC has announced its five-year plan for the labeling system.

How2Recycle was developed to reduce consumer confusion around recycling in the U.S. with a clear and consistent recycling label and corresponding informational Web site. It provides companies with an easy way to conform to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “Green Guides” while using nationwide recyclability data. While several other recycling labels and symbols exist, according to the SPC, the How2Recycle Label is the only one that communicates recyclability across all material types and gives explicit directions to consumers to influence their recycling behavior. It also specifies when a package component is not recyclable.

The How2Recycle Label will be appearing on a new juice product from Minute Maid, Clorox’s Scoop Away products, and select Exclusive Brands products from Best Buy.

“Reducing our environmental footprint is important to Clorox,” says Gwen Lorio of Clorox. “One way we can do this is to encourage consumers to recycle our packages. Consumers understand the concept of recycling but are frequently confused on what packages can or can’t be recycled. They want the process to be easier, and we think the recovery label does just that.

“As we enable consumers to recycle correctly, we ensure more quality recycled material is available for us to use, our consumers send less waste to landfill, and we can reduce the energy needed to create new packages. Overall, this can be a win for us all.”

The How2Recycle Label can already be found on numerous products available (or soon to be available) in the marketplace, including Esteé Lauder’s Aveda Outer Peace Acne Pads; a variety of Kirkland products from Costco Wholesale; General Mills’ Yoplait yogurt brand; Microsoft computer accessories; REI’s Novara bicycle accessories, multi-towels, and hang tags; most Seventh Generation products; and Sealed Air’s Fill-Air inflatable packaging.

The soft launch of the label will run through the first quarter of 2013. Full implementation of the label will begin thereafter and will incorporate feedback gathered during the soft launch period from consumers, retailers, participating companies, local governments, trade associations, and recyclers. The SPC plans to add up to 20 additional participants after the soft launch phase and aims for the label to appear on the majority of consumer product packaging by 2016.

Companies interested in using the label on their products after the soft launch period can contact GreenBlue senior manager Anne Bedarf for more information at 434/817-1424 ext. 314 or by e-mail at anne.bedarf@greenblue.org. Bedarf, along with GreenBlue project associate Danielle Peacock, shepherded the How2Recycle Label process.

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