Your essential recycling guide Recycling symbols

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This article, Your essential recycling guide, was last updated on 31 March 2009 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Home & garden articles.

General recycling symbols

You're sure to recognise some of these common recycling symbols, but do you know the meaning of them all?

Recycling logos
Logo Meaning
Mobius Loop
The Mobius loop logo
This item can be recycled where correct facilities exist.
Mobius loop (with percentage)
The Mobius loop logo with percentage sign
This item contains x% of recycled material and can be recycled where correct facilities exist.
Green dot
The Green dot logo
In participating countries this means the manufacturer is funding a recycling program for products with this label. The UK isn’t a participating country.
WEEE directive
The WEEE directive logo
Shows that a product can be recycled separately from other household waste under the WEEE directive.
EU flower
The EU flower logo
An EU-wide award for non-food products that minimise impacts on the environment – detergents that are less harmful to rivers, lakes and oceans, for example.
Tidy man
The Tidyman logo
Do not litter. A familiar addition to the packaging of many everyday items, this symbol simply suggests that the bearer should dispose of this carefully and thoughtfully.
The aluminium recycling logo
This product (usually a drinks can) is made from recyclable aluminium.
The Recycle glass logo
Please put this recyclable glass container in a bottle bank.

Plastic recycling symbols

These symbols identify the type of plastic used in a packaging. Some councils only collect certain types for recycling – use the table below to identify which is which.

Plastic symbols and their meanings
Logo Meaning
The PETE logo
Polyethylene Terepthalate
The HDPE logo
High Density Polyethylene
The PVC logo
The LDPE logo
Low Density Polyethylene
The polypropelene logo
The polystyrene logo
The logo for recycling 'other' plastics
All other resins and multi-materials