Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Recycling Labels Causes Confusion In Recycling Bins

When Sandra Keil transferred to Arlington last year, she received a letter of warning of a hefty 50$ penalty if she continues to add paper in the recycling bin.

"I gasped," the Arlington, Va., resident remembers. "I'm a recycling expert."

Keil, an executive with recycling directory Earth911.com, was unaware that she needed to put the paper trash in bags beside the bins. "I was wrong," she says.

To solve this confusion a new sign will appear in different items this fall. The voluntary How2Recycle label will provide indicators if the product is recycled in most areas or not.

"There's a lot of confusion and misinformation about recyclability," says Anne Bedarf, who helped develop the label for the Sustainable Packaging Coalition of GreenBlue, a non-profit environmental group. "We want to provide information that's transparent and consistent."

The idea came from United Kingdom and was launched first on a laundry detergent by Seventh Generation and hand towels by outdoor-gear retailer REI. Other companies follow suit such as Estee Lauder, Costco Wholesale, General Mills' Yoplait, Microsoft, Orville Redenbacher, BJ's and Best Buy.

Others are skeptical with the new recycling labels.

"It may cause more confusion," says Keil, who argues that recycling varies too much from place to place. "It's really hard to have a standardized label when there's no standardized policy."

She says consumers want to know what they can recycle, not what most Americans can. She fears the label may lead to mistakes and higher local costs.

Recycling "is very tricky, and it's very local," she says.

Rubbish Clearance London-Clearit Waste

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