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The Recycling Partnership's new labelling platform clarifies local recycling information

Somebody sorts through squished plastic bottles
Recycle Check is powered by The Recycling Partnership's National Recycling Database, a resource that centralizes up-to-date recycling access data from more than 9,000 U.S. community programs. Adobe Stock Images

The Recycling Partnership is launching Recycle Check, a package-specific labelling platform that provides up-to-date recycling information to U.S. consumers. The platform offers the ability to enter a zip code or allow location permissions and receive a clear, yes or no answer about whether to recycle a specific item where you are. It also enables consumer brands to navigate the complex recycling landscape, reduce label changes, and leverage existing labelling systems. 

"Eight in ten people believe in recycling's positive impact, yet two-thirds of household recyclables are wasted each year. Confusion about what and how to recycle is a key driver of this loss," explains Sarah Dearman, chief innovation officer at The Recycling Partnership. "Meanwhile, new state-level packaging policies are changing requirements for recyclability claims." 

Recycle Check is powered by The Recycling Partnership's National Recycling Database, a resource that centralizes up-to-date recycling access data from more than 9,000 U.S. community programs, covering 97 percent of the U.S. population. Recycle Check connects local information with brand and package-specific details that evolve with the changing recycling landscape.

The Recycling Partnership says that Recycle Check was designed to complement existing labelling systems. The Recycling Partnership and GreenBlue are collaborating with early adopters of the program to pilot the use of the How2Recycle label and the Recycle Check QR code together on product packaging. The Recycling Partnership says that it is also working closely with the Consumer Brands Association to offer Recycle Check through its SmartLabel program.

General Mills and Horizon Organic are some early adopters of Recycle Check. In the later part of 2023, General Mills will feature Recycle Check with the How2Recycle label on its Pillsbury Frozen Pie Crust packaging, allowing consumers to check local recycling availability for all package components. Because aluminum pie trays are only accepted in approximately 40 percent of residential curbside collection programs, the QR code label provides clarity on where the item is accepted for recycling. 

"Through package design, on-pack labelling, and additional efforts, General Mills is continuously working to educate consumers and make recycling easier for them," said Patrick Keenan, Packaging Sustainability Research and Development at General Mills. "We are excited to leverage this technology to localize the consumer experience and see this as a collaborative step to making the recycling system more efficient."

Horizon Organic is including Recycle Check alongside the How2Recycle label on select Horizon Organic milk cartons.

"As a brand that looks towards a better future for all, we are excited to be part of Recycle Check," said Tyler Holm, general manager for Horizon Organic. "By providing easy access and education on local recycling options for our milk cartons, we are hopeful that even more consumers will support the movement to recycle and join us in helping to protect the one horizon we all share." 

Recycle Check is a platform for all residential recyclables – paper, plastics, metals, and glass. Because of its ability to deliver up-to-date, community-specific information, it is an especially helpful solution for packages that are accepted in some but not all curbside programs across the U.S. 

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