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Groups hope standardized signs will boost recycling rates

By: Jim Johnson

June 18, 2014

There’s a new campaign under way to help standardize messaging on public recycling containers in an effort to boost the amount of material, including plastics, diverted from landfills.

TerraCycle, known for its work in finding new life for hard-to-recycle materials, is working with non-profit group Recycle Across America and Participant Media in a program to distribute standardized recycling labels in the United States.

The hopes are that standardized messaging will boost recycling rates.

As part of the Recycle Right campaign, the standardized recycling labels are designed to boost recycling rates by providing a clear message about what is accepted at each container.

News of the campaign comes as TerraCycle is promoting the debut of “Human Resources,” which is described as “a half-hour comedy that documents the nonstop, deadline-driven world of TerraCycle, a New Jersey-based company whose mission is to eliminate waste on a global scale.”

The show debuts Aug. 8 on the Pivot channel, which is part of Participant Media.

The Recycle Right campaign also includes informational videos, tips and what organizers calls practical solutions, including the standardized labels, to help boost recycling.

RAA Founder Mitch Hedlund, in a statement, had this to say about the labels. “It’s a deceivingly simple solution that creates exponential progress, and I think we’re all ready for some progress.”

Use of the stickers already has taken hold at 2,000 schools in the United States, including all public schools in Washington, D.C. Companies including Hallmark, Kohler, NBCUniversal, Procter & Gamble and SanDisk also are using them.

Estimates are that approximately 500,000 of the labels already are in place in the United States, Canada and Europe. The goal is to double that amount by the end of the year.

More information about the cost of the labels as well as the upcoming television show is available at www.takepart.com/humanresources.