Recycling is essential for a clean, healthy environment, but do you know what each symbol means? In this post, we will take a look at all the recycling symbols and what each one represents.

1. On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL)

The on-pack recycling label tells you how and where you should recycle your items. These labels are designed to be clear and informative and can be found on different types of packaging for cans, bottles and bags. On-pack recycling labels tell you the packaging type, and whether it is recyclable or not. It also indicates if you should place it in your recycling bin, or take it to the recycling centre. On-pack recycling labels are from Recycle Now, a recycling campaign in England that is funded by the UK Government. The campaign’s logo is the basis for on-pack recycling labels.

2. Widely Recycled

This logo indicates that more than 75% of the councils in England offer household collection for that type of packaging. You should research the councils that recycle this waste to know if yours is included. The information on the label allows you to separate recyclables from non-recyclables easily.

3. Check Local Recycling

This black logo tells you that only 20 to 70% of local councils recycle this packaging part. Like the widely recycled symbol, the type of material is included in the logo. Ensure that your local council is part of the 20 to 70% that recycle this packaging.

4. Not Currently Recycled

This logo tells us that this type of packaging can only be recycled in 20% of the councils in the country. The black logo does not mean the packaging material is non-recyclable, but that it is recycled in a small number of councils.

5. Widely Recycled at Recycling Points

It explains that recycling of the packaging material can be done in 75% of councils. However, not more than 75% of these councils collect the material at the kerbside. It is similar to the ‘widely recycled’ logo. A print instructing you to check your council for collection points and kerbside is made at the bottom of the logo.

6. Recycle with Carrier Bags

A couple of plastic films can be recycled at a carrier bag collection point in a supermarket. Unlike the ‘Widely recycled at recycling points’ logo, a print that instructs you to not look at kerbsides, but your local stores is made at the bottom of the page.The materials to be recycled with carrier bags are often in kitchen raps, cereal packets or grocery produce.

7. Metal Paint Cans

A lot of metal paint cans can be recycled at many recycling centres. Check your council’s website for more information.

Other Recycling Symbols

A. Mobius Loop

This symbol explains that the item that has it can be recycled. Contrary to what people think, the Mobius loop does not show that the packaging material has been recycled. It also does not guarantee that the material will be accepted in your collection centre. Sometimes, the Mobius loop has a percentage in the middle, to explain that the material contains a certain amount of recycled material.

Mobius Loop

B. Tidyman

A tidyman logo means do not litter.


C. The Green Dot

The green dot is a symbol that indicates that the producer has contributed to the recycling and recovery of the packaging material. It does not necessarily mean the material has been recycled.

Green Dot

D. Plastics

A shaded Mobius loop, with a number inside and a letter code, indicates the type of plastic the packaging is made from. The kind of plastic available are;
1. PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate): Tubs and drink bottles are made from this plastic.
2. HDPE (High-density polyethene): It is used in kitchen wares, cable insulation and toys.
3. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): It is used in wire insulation, flooring and footwear. Its logo usually has a V below the symbol.
4. PP (Polypropylene)
5. PS (Polystyrene)
6. LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene): It is used in carrier bags, toys and general packaging.


E. Glass

Most glass products we use are recyclable. Ensure that you separate them by colour before depositing them at your bottle bank.

Glass Recycling

F. Recyclable Aluminium

The logo tells you that the product or packaging material is made from recyclable aluminium.

Aluminium recycling label

G. Waste Electrical

The logo tells you that the electrical item that has it is recyclable.


H. Compostable

This logo indicates that the product or material is industrially compostable.

I. Paper

The stamp is from the National Association of Paper Merchants. It tells you that the product or material is made from at least 50% of waste paper.

J. Wood

The logo is from the Forest Stewardship Council. It tells you that the product or material is wood from certified forests.


In conclusion, these are the recycling symbols available. You must understand and recognise them to recycle your products correctly.