How Green Is Green: Paper Recycling Symbols Explained

How Green Is Green: Paper Recycling Symbols Explained

Sarah Starkey
Apr 4, 2011

With so many products touting their green credentials it pays to know what all those 'green' symbols mean, so we can cut through the greenwashing and determine for ourselves how green the products we buy really are. These are 5 of the most common symbols found on paper products.

Universal Recycling Symbols: These are the most common images found on paper products and they are used interchangeably to indicate that a product is recyclable or able to be recycled. It does not indicate any that the product contains any recycled material.

Recycled Paper Symbol:A white recycling symbol in a black circle indicates that a product is made from 100% recycled paper content.

Partially Recycled Paper Content: This symbol indicates that a product or packaging was made using a percentage of recycled paper. The percentage is usually displayed in or around the recycling symbol.

Processed Chlorine Free: This symbols indicates that recycled and virgin fibres in the product were bleached without chlorine or chlorine compounds.

Post Consumer Recycled Paper: Products and packaging made with post consumer recycled papers suggest that all or a percentage of the product includes paper that has been through the consumer cycle.

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