Recycling Logo and what those little numbers mean

All is not what it seems. 34 years ago, a US paperboard company (CCA) wanted a symbol to promote their recycled content. Gary Anderson, a graphic arts student from USCLA, won their design contest for his 3 chasing arrows, inspired by the Mobius strip, where a mathematician, of the same name, devised a surface that had only 1 side, and no end. CCA's William Lloyd later revised the logo. The Society of the Plastics Industry subsequently (1988) dropped their identification coding system inside the arrows. The numbers indicate plastic resin types. They do not indicate that you can recycle that product, merely the resin used to make it, so they can be sorted together. Plastics 1 (PET) and 2 (HDPE) are... commonly recycled. All the others much less so. Alas the logo has become a bit over-used... The best recycling is Post-consumer (meaning after we have perused the newspaper, slurped our glass bottled drink or supped our tinned soup.) Pre-consumer or Post-industrial recycling is where the manufacturer puts their factory scraps back into a new batch of material. They probably always do this anyway, so not a new initiative to get overly enthused about. To be truly in the loop we need to also buy products with post-consumer recycled content, rather than merely putting our stuff out to be collected. If you'd like to get your business to do more, seek out the Buy Recycled Business Alliances in the States and Australia.::NRC-Recycle or ::BRBA [by WM]