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Recycling Symbols

Recycling is easy once you know how! But with so many symbols it can get a little confusing. We have compiled this simple guide to familiar symbols to help you make sense of it all.

Guide to everyday recycling symbols

Recycling symbols now appear on everyday items and packaging to keep you in the loop. The symbols will let you know if a product can or can’t be recycled.

It’s important that you can identify and understand these symbols so that you can play your part in recycling, always remembering to put the right thing in the right bin, CLEAN, DRY and LOOSE.

Symbol

Meaning

Glass Recycling

You will see this symbol on glass containers. It asks you to recycle the glass bottle or jar. Please rinse glass items and dispose of them at your local bottle bank, remembering to separate colours.

The Green Dot

This a European trademark and it means that suppliers and producers have contributed financially to the recycling of packaging in Europe. For example, Repak Members can use this symbol on their packaging as they pay fees to Repak to fund recycling in Ireland. The symbol does not necessarily mean that the packaging is recyclable, has been recycled or will be recycled.

Aluminium Recycling

This symbol indicates that the product is made from recyclable aluminium. You can place aluminium cans, trays and clean foil in your household recycling bin, clean dry and loose.  You can also dispose of aluminium cans at most local bottle banks.

Steel Recycling

This symbol indicates that the product is made of steel.  You can place steel food cans and lids in your household recycling bin, clean, dry and loose. 

Paper Recycling

This symbol indicates that the paper packaging of a produce can be recycled.

Mobius Loop

This symbol indicates that a product’s packaging can be recycled, not that is has been recycled or that it is accepted in all recycling collection systems. The symbol may be accompanied by a percentage figure in the middle to explain that x% of the packaging is recycled.

Sustainable Wood

The Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) symbol indicates that wood has been sustainably sourced, from well-managed forests, independently certified in line with FSC rules.

Tidyman

This symbol asks you not to litter.  It is a reminder to dispose of your waste carefully and thoughtfully.

Plastic Resin Codes

These symbols relate to the type of plastic resin used to make the item.  In Ireland currently, you can place all rigid plastics only in your household recycling bin, regardless of the number, colour or symbol.  For more guidance on rigid plastics see ‘what can I recycle’ and ‘recycling FAQs’. Soft plastics must currently go in your general waste bin, with some recycling centres accepting clean, dry plastic film for recycling. Please check with your local facility.  You can find a full listing on MyWaste.ie

Non Household Waste

You will see this symbol on packaging of electrical items. It asks you not to place the electrical item in your household bin – electrical items must be recycled in line with local environmental regulation.  You can dispose of electrical items at WEEE points and many electrical retail premises, nationwide.  You can find out more on MyWaste.ie

Seedling Logo (Compostable)

This symbol indicates that a product is certified to be industrially compostable according to the European standard EN 13432/14955.  You should never place compostable packaging in the recycling bin with other items. As it is designed to break down it cannot be recycled and will contaminate recyclable items. Packaging that carries this symbol can be recycled with your garden waste through your local authority.

MyWaste.ie (an initiative brought to you by the Regional Waste Management Offices on behalf of the Department of Climate Action, Communications and the Environment) has developed its own symbols for use on packaging in Ireland.  This symbol indicates that packaging can be recycled in your household recycling bin.  For more information see MyWaste.ie  

This symbol indicates that parts of the packaging may be recyclable and other parts may have to go in your general waste bin.  For example, you can place a clean, dry liquid soap bottle in your recycling bin, but the pump dispenser must go in your general waste (or you can reuse with a refill).  For more information see MyWaste.ie 

This symbol indicates that, unfortunately, the items is not yet recyclable. For example, items in this list include toothpaste tubes, blister packs for medication, rubber gloves, and all soft plastics (plastic bags, cling film, etc). For more information see MyWaste.ie  

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