Are your products' packages recyclable? How should your customers dispose of wrappers, labels and other materials? Do the packages have symbols or text clearly explaining the right practices? When used accurately and well, recycling symbols on packages can be selling points for goods. Today's conscientious consumers want to make an impact on issues such as conservation of nature, and they may gravitate toward brands that help them do so.
As with all kinds of claims made on product labels, whether about ingredients, nutritional content or any related trait, you should ensure your products' end-of-life instructions are consistent with industry standards. Once you're sure of the correct approach, it's time for a new label design prominently featuring the accurate markings.
Time For Updates
According to Packaging World contributor and How2Recycle project associate Jessica Eddington, there's value in giving end-of-life information for products even when those items aren't recyclable. She noted that people want to know how to safely and correctly dispose of goods, which puts pressure on brands to be honest, accurate and forthcoming. This preference for knowledge is a compelling reason for businesses to study the properties of their items and give correct information on a new label design.
Eddington described a few of the steps businesses should take when they're determining the right label for a particular product. For instance, brands that want to promote how compostable or biodegradable their goods are should ensure they're using those words correctly. Organizations may stumble into misleading claims by boasting about an 80 percent compostable package – if the other part of the wrapper is plastic and doesn't break down, that negates the brand's ability to boast about compostability.
Mistakes Are Frequent
Writing for the Providence Journal, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation Education and Outreach manager Krystal Noiseux suggested companies often make packaging errors. Potentially due to a lack of information about what does and doesn't constitute a recyclable product, businesses are too eager to put the common recycling symbols on their items.
Noiseux indicated that despite the propensity for improper labeling, there are Federal Trade Commission guidelines attempting to set the record straight. The rules are somewhat vague and urge businesses to qualify any statement of recyclability. Furthermore, items that are too large or strangely shaped to be recycled by ordinary processing centers shouldn't have symbols on their packaging asserting that people can recycle them. Though the rules are loosely enforced, violating them could damage consumer trust.