What do all the symbols on packaging mean?

We all know the drill; we all think we know what can and can’t be recycled but sometimes we need a little help. Luckily the symbols are there to explain whether that product/packaging can go into that big green bin (or any other colour a recycling bin can be!). However, have you ever actually stopped to read what that symbol means – No? Us neither. Up until now, we’ve gone through and taken the time to explain each symbol so you don’t have too. Why not print this out and put above the bin just to remind you and the family of each little thing.

Symbol Explanation
Widely Recycled Label applied to packaging collected by over 75% or more of local authorities across the UK.
Widely Recycled – Rinse Label applied to packages that need rinsing to ensure any food residue do not contaminate other packaging
The Green Dot Does not necessarily mean that the product packaging is recyclable, has been recycled or will be recycled. It signifies that the producer has made a financial contribution to recycling and recovery of packaging overall.
Mobius Loop Indicates an object is capable of being recycled not that it has been recycled or that it will be recycled as it may not be accepted in all recycling collection systems
Plastic Resin Codes Identifies the type of plastic resin used to make the item by providing a resin identification code. This is represented with chasing arrows symbol. Surrounding a number between 1-7 defining the resin used
Mixed Glass This indicates that this bottle/jar should be disposed of at a bottle bank or by using the household glass recycling collection if you have one
Recyclable Aluminium Indicates that the item is made from recyclable aluminium.
Recyclable Steel

Indicates the item is made from recyclable steel. All local authorities collect steel cans for recycling however all types of other steel or metal items need to be taken to your local household recycling centre

The Tidyman

The symbol is from the campaign Keep Britain Tidy. It asks you not to littler. Does not relate to recycling but acts as a reminder to be a good citizen and disposing of the item in the most appropriate manner.

Waste Electricals

This symbol explains that you should not place the items in your general waste bin. They should be recycled through a number of alternate channels


Products certified to be industrially compostable according to European standard. Never place compostable plastic into the recycling with other plastics; as it is designed to break down it cannot be recycled and contaminates recyclable plastics. Plastics that carry this symbol can be recycled with your garden waste through your local authority.

Home Composting In addition to the seedling symbol for industrial composting you may see this symbol which indicates that the product is suitable for home recycling.
Paper, Cardboard and Wood

This logo identifies wood-based products from well-managed forests independently certified in accordance with the rules of FSC


However no need to worry about your rubbish when you order a skip with us as we’re experts in household and commercial waste management and recycling. Give us a call on 01666 505 800 or email us at info@valleytrading.co.uk for more information.