Or have they? Rach's excellent post showed one labelling scheme in operation, but this morning I noticed another one as used by the supermarket chain, Morrison's. Which packet do you think can be recycled? The one on the right perhaps? Wrong. Despite the green tick and the smiley face the small print actually says:
Not recyclable everywhere yet. To find out about recycling in your area visit www.recyclenow.com.
As you may have guessed, I'm a little annoyed. I wonder how many people just go on the visual cues and happily recycle that bag with a warm eco-friendly glow as they do so? What are the consequences of that action? We seem to be experiencing a plethora of different labelling schemes for recycling food packaging just as we have for the nutrition of the food within it. Why can't we have just one clear scheme? And if Morrison's do persist with this particular one might I suggest the following:
- The face for non-recyclable goods (as shown on the left) is changed to red with a downturned mouth
- If an item is not recyclable everywhere, the face displayed is amber in colour and with a straight mouth
- Only goods recyclable everywhere should have a green smiley face and a green tick
- Larger lettering would be helpful as we don't all have perfect vision
Update: Grrr and double grrr! I've just taken the above link to the Recycle Now website and have failed to find anything which tells me whether I can recycle the packet on the right in the picture in my area.
There's plenty of information on plastics and what various labels mean (including the scheme Rach posted about), but nothing explaining the Morrison's one. As there's no information on the packet to tell me which type of plastic I'm dealing with, I can't use the rest of the information on the site to see whether I can use my local recycling centre if its a type 1-3 plastic, or the plastic bag recycling facility (type 4 plastic - film) at either of my two local supermarkets.
Now I'm a pretty committed recycler and tenacious when it comes to finding out information. However, I'm probably in a very small minority and I suspect the majority of people don't bother, or will give up pretty quickly if they can't find an immediate answer and just throw their packet away so that it ends up in landfill. So I'm also emailing a link to this post to Recycle Now for their comments.
A further comment for Recycle Now: it's quite difficult to find the centre information wanted from the map presented after the postcode search when there's several sites close together. It would be really useful if the map showed the location name when each of them is hovered over with the mouse.