We need more readable recycling logos!

Have you ever tried to determine if a plastic item is recyclable? I have 20/20 vision for reading, but often the recycling symbol and corresponding number is so small I could use the help of a magnifying glass to read the number in the logo.  On other plastic items like lids there is often no number on it whatsoever. Why not?

The conspiracy theorist in me sometimes wonders this is purposeful so people give up trying and throw the items away instead of bothering to recycle them.  I sincerely hope this is not the case.

If a product is recyclable then it should be celebrated, not hidden in some far-off corner, written in hieroglyphics, or printed so small or lightly that you cannot tell whether is is a 5 or 6. C’mon plastic producers and molders, there has to be a way to create clearer, larger, more readable, and more uniform logos on your products to help promote the recycling.


  • Today, 80 percent of Americans have access to a plastics recycling program.
  • More than 2.4 billion pounds of plastic bottles were recycled in 2008.
  • In 2007, more than 325 million pounds of wide-mouth plastic containers such as yogurt cups and butter containers were recycled.
  • In recent years, the number of U.S. plastics recycling businesses has nearly tripled. Today, more than 1,600 businesses are involved in recycling post-consumer plastics.
  • Plastics in the U.S. are made primarily (70%) from domestic natural gas.
  • Recycling one ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • During Keep America Beautiful’s 2008 Great American Cleanup, volunteers recovered and recycled 189,000,000 PET (plastic) bottles that littered highways, waterways and parks.

Hopefully, everyone will keep up the good work and more readable recycling labels will increase participation in plastic recycling programs across the country and around the globe. By reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign petroleum products and reducing the waste stream going into our landfills, recycling  is one of the most patriotic things you can do. Remember the R’s of  Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Now, if we can just get rid of those annoying plastic bags.

This entry was posted in Environment, pollution, Recycling and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to We need more readable recycling logos!

  1. Paula says:

    This is my pet peeve too. I always have to squint and stand under a bright light until I can finally find the recycling number. And stuff without the number is the worst because I think the company that does our recycling just throws that out.


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  3. Molly says:

    I don’t have to separate my recycling, so I just throw everything in one bin. I don’t go searching for the logo much anymore, but it sounds like companies still have some work to do.


  4. Amy says:

    I agree, trying to read those things is annoying. I don’t have to separate things now, but I did where I lived last year.

    I suppose it’s mostly a space issue, or companies don’t want to make their packaging look different, but what’s the point if it’s impossible to read?


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  7. Ginny says:

    I agree 1000%! It’s just plain idiotic that those numbers are so small, illegible, hard to find. I plan to send messages to the companies whose products have
    difficult recycle symbols. Don’t know that it will do any good, but in my mind, I can’t see a reason why they can’t be very large so anyone would have an incentive to recycle and it would be easy to do.


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