The Three Steps
Each arrow in the recycling symbol represents 1 step in the recycling process:
The first step is collection (from homes and businesses)
The second arrow represents the manufacturing process, whereby recyclable materials are converted into new products
The third step involves consumers purchasing products made with recycled content, strengthening the market or demand for the materials we place in our recycling bins
Buying recycled is an easy way to support material reuse.
Is It Recycled Material?
Most labels will communicate if the product is made with recycling content. Look for the highest percentage of “post-consumer recycled content” you can find on the following types of products:
Paper products: cereal, cake mix and cracker boxes, facial tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, corrugated cardboard boxes, writing paper, greeting cards, copier and printer paper, and office paper
Plastic bottles: bottles and jugs containing liquid laundry detergent, dish washing liquids, shampoos, and household cleaners
Unlabeled Recycled Products
There are a few everyday products containing recycled material that are not labeled as such.
You’ll find recycled steel in products such as:
Recycled glass in bottles and jars
Recycled paper in molded pulp containers such as egg cartons, fruit trays, and flower boxes
Some products containing recycled material may surprise you, such as: