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Recycling Symbols explained

Lots of products now have symbols on them to tell us more about what they are made from and how we can dispose of them. This guide will help you understand what items you can recycle and which ones need to go into the bin.

On-Pack Recycling labels (or OPRL) have been around a while and are on all sorts of packaging. The labels clearly tell you if something can be recycled or not. The labels are based on what the majority of Councils collect, but luckily in Buck we collect more than most, so if the label says recycle, you are okay to recycle it at home.

Remember, not all packaging has a label on it, but that doesn't mean it can't be recycled. If in doubt, enter your postcode into our Waste Wizard and search for the item you want to recycle.

Other symbols

The Green Dot - The Green Dot does not necessarily mean that the packaging is recyclable, will be recycled or has been recycled. It is a symbol used on packaging in some European countries and signifies that the producer has made a financial contribution towards the recovery and recycling of packaging in Europe.

Mobius Loop - This indicates that an object is capable of being recycled, not that the object has been recycled or will be accepted in all recycling collection systems. Sometimes this symbol is used with a percentage figure in the middle to explain that the packaging contains x% of recycled material.

Plastic resin codes - This identifies the type of plastic resin used to make the item by providing a 'Resin Identification Code'. It is represented with a 'chasing arrows' symbol surrounding a a number between 1 and 7 that defines the resin used. More about how to recycle plastic bottles

Tidyman - This symbol from Keep Britain Tidy asks you not to litter. It doesn't relate to recycling but is a reminder to be a good citizen, disposing of the item in the most appropriate manner.

Waste electricals - This symbol explains that you should not place the electrical item in the general waste. Electrical items can be recycled through a number of channels. Find out how to recycle electrical items

Compostable - Products certified to be industrially compostable according to the European standard EN 13432/14955 may bear the 'seedling' logo. Never place compostable plastic into the recycling with other plastics; as it is designed to break down it cannot be recycled and contaminates recyclable plastics. Plastics that carry this symbol can be composted at home.

Paper, card and wood - The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo identifies wood-based products from well managed forests independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC. More about how to recycle wood, paper or cardboard