Lifestyle

What do Different Recycling Symbols Mean? | Sustainability Explained

Our Growing Socially and Environmentally Conscious Culture 

8.8 million tonnes of plastic is put into our oceans every year, with 74% of the waste not actually being recycled1. The conversation surrounding sustainability, specifically plastic packaging waste has become a hot topic within the UK. This being emphasised by David Attenborough’s successful 2017 BBC series; Blue Planet II. Since airing, focus on plastic pollution of the marine environment has gone from strength to strengthresulting in companies altering their policy agreements in order to suit the growing demand2.  

Furthermore, within the last 10 years, health and sustainability trends have seen rapid growth; with £45 million pounds a week spent on organic products in the UK alone3. Our up-and-coming socially and environmentally conscious culture is showing promising development of which will result in further production and packaging alteration by brands.  

“An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfilment.”
– Sir David Attenborough

Influencer holding packaging

Is the Myvegan packaging reusable or recyclable? 

Our Clear Vegan Protein tubs and pill bottles are 100% recyclable and we are working hard to find sustainable solutions for the rest of our packaging. This including our bestselling pouches that will be recycled ready by the end of 2020. We have created a clear plan ensuring that all of our products are packaged in fully recyclable materials by the end of 2023. Additionally, by the end of 2020, all our cardboard cartons and boxes will be sustainably sourced and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. Moreover, we are currently developing a ‘how to recycle’ guide which will be visible soon on our website regarding the rest of our products’ packaging; send us your creations to feature on our socials.

Myvegan packaging upcycling

We are also thrilled to share the news that we are officially the World’s First Plastic Neutral Sports Nutrition BrandThrough partnering with rePurpose, we are funding the removal of plastic waste from the environment. As a brand, we recognise the grave threat that plastic pollution poses to the future of our planet, therefore, are taking action towards this matter. Read more about our new and exciting partnership here. 

Sustainability and Recycling Symbols 

An increase in sustainability credentials now aligns with an improvement in packaging and raw material transparency. Although, as production innovation develops, so does the new symbols that help us to identify how packaging can be (or not) be recycled. With some symbols having familiar illustrations, it’s now super easy to misinterpret guidelines. This is when we have come up with a list of symbols and explanations, to support you along your sustainability journey. Keep scrolling to discover the list! 

Recycling logos explained

Sustainability & Recycling Symbols List

  1. Plastic Neutral 

certified plastic neutral

The plastic neutral symbol illustrates that the product/packaging does not negatively add to ocean or landfill waste services. This can be down to the manufacturer funding the removal of plastic pollution into the sea or landfill.

We are proud to be the world’s first plastic neutral sports nutrition brand by partnering with rePurpose who is a global charity helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the oceans and landfill. Find out more about how we became plastic neutral in our article all about the Eliminating Waste objective of our sustainability strategy.

2. Mobius Loop

Recycling logo

The Mobius Loop is a universal logo, illustrated as three arrows shaping a green triangle. This symbol means that the product has the potential to be recycled not that the product is definitely fully recyclable. Sometimes you may see numbers in the centre of this triangle, this meaning the percentage of recycled materials made in the actual product.

By the end of 2023, we plan for our products to be packaged in fully recyclable packaging.

3. Widely Recycled

Widely Recycled logo

Whenever you come across this symbol, it’s stating that the product can be widely recycled – so essentially, in 75% of recycling services/authorities across the UK.

Our Clear Vegan Protein tubs and pill bottles are 100% recyclable and we are working hard to find sustainable solutions for the rest of our packaging!

4. Certified Carbon Footprint 

Carbon Footprint logo

The Certified Carbon Footprint symbol demonstrates that the product has a certified carbon footprint. Essentially, the products are either CO2 measured OR reducing CO2.

5. Financial Contribution 

Financial Contribution logo

This symbol can be quite confusing as it has two green arrows similar to the Mobius Loop. In contrast, this symbol doesn’t necessarily align with the product being recyclable as it means that when being produced, the manufacturers have made a financial contribution to recycling services within Europe.

6. Compostable

Compostable Recycling logo

Whenever you see this compostable logo it symbolises that the product itself is compostable. Compostable products cannot be disposed of in normal recycling bins as they can contaminate the recycling process. If you don’t have already, order a garden waste bin from your local council!

7. Check Locally

Check locally recycling logo

Similarly to the widely recycled symbol, this states that the product can be recycled but to check with your local authority. The product should roughly be recycled by 20-75% of UK regions but it’s important to double-check.

8. Aluminium

Aluminium recycling logo

The aluminium symbol means that the product itself has been made from recycled aluminium (this can include foil!)  TIP: You can recycle foil, however, you must make sure there’s no food left in the foil and scrunch it up into a big ball. The bigger, the better!

9. Organically Sourced

Organic symbol

Whenever you see the organic symbol, it means that the materials used to produce this product are from organic sources.

Sourcing high-quality ingredients for our customers is at the heart of what we do, which is why we have an extensive range of organic superfoods, from Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Spirulina Powder, Organic Cacao Nibs and more.

10. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

FSC Logo

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo, found on wood-based products is essentially reassurance that the product is in fact made/contains wood from FSC certified forests or has been recycled after the previous use. Visible on each FSC is a unique number, which aligns to where the wood-based product originated from. More information surrounding the FSC label can be found on their website.

To Note: Always remember to check your local recycling authority for further information on the different types of recycling collections and services in your area as they tend to differ.  

Summary  

With sustainability and recycling credentials promisingly evolving, so are the icons identifying how we can recycle at home. With many sustainability and recycling symbols looking very similar, it’s easy to get confused and therefore accidentally add to the non-recycled waste on a daily basis. This is why we have identified some key recycling symbols alongside simple explanations to support your sustainability journey. 

Discover more about what we are doing as a brand by reading some of our educational articles below. In addition, check out our social media for exciting updates regarding Sustainable September 2020 content and further insight into our sustainability initiatives.

Eliminating Waste | Sustainable September

Lifestyle

Eliminating Waste | Sustainable September

By supporting rePurpose Global to remove and recycle as much ocean-bound plastic waste as our packaging uses, we are officially the World's First Plastic Neutral Sports Nutrition Brand.

2020-09-01 00:06:41By Emily Richards

Reducing Carbon & Energy | Sustainable September

Lifestyle

Reducing Carbon & Energy | Sustainable September

By choosing plant-based products, together we are reducing our carbon footprint.

2020-09-01 00:05:16By Emily Richards

Health and Wellbeing | Sustainable September

Lifestyle

Health and Wellbeing | Sustainable September

Why incorporating mental health and wellbeing into our sustainability objectives was essential including 5 ways to look after your mental health.

2020-09-01 00:14:07By Emily Richards

Find us on Instagram for exciting updates @Myvegan  


  1. RePurpose, 2020. [online] RePurpose. Available at: https://repurpose.global/.
  2. Males, J. and Van Aelst, P., 2020. Did the Blue Planet set the Agenda for Plastic Pollution? An Explorative Study on the Influence of a Documentary on the Public, Media and Political Agendas. Environmental Communication, pp.1-15.
  3. Ledsom, A., 2020. New Report: UK Consumers Want More Organic Everything. [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexledsom/2019/02/16/new-report-uk-consumers-want-more-organic-everything/#26ce6e5568f0.


Emily Richards

Emily Richards

Writer and expert

Emily has a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Marketing from the University of the West of England. This entailed an in-depth study of marketing strategy, analysis and creative content focusing primarily across skincare and nutrition divisions. Growing up beside several beautiful welsh beaches, Emily’s interests include venturing outdoors for long dog walks. Her interests also include fitness, specifically running where she completed the Royal Parks half marathon in London, raising a significant amount of money for charity. In her spare time, Emily enjoys exercising and socialising with friends. Her passion for the outdoors extends to supporting the local community with beach clean-ups and trying new veggie recipes at home! Find out more about Emily’s experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilyrichards97/