By: DTM Skips

Recycling Symbols Explained and What Do All the Recycling Symbols Mean?

From posters to adverts on TV, people are constantly raising awareness for the importance of recycling and recycling symbols.

On a daily basis people are doing their part for the environment.

Whether they are cutting back on the amount of electricity they use, or following the rules of reuse, reduce and recycle . However, the question raised is do you know all the recycling symbols?

Do you know what each one means as well as the different types of recycling? Everyone is still earning and things are constantly changing.

Recycling history is still relatively new. Read on to find out if you are doing your home recycling correctly.


Widely Recycled

This sign is used to inform you that more than 75% of local councils collect these recyclable items.

Check Local Recycling

When you see these recycling labels, it tells you that 20-75% of local councils collect this recyclable material.

Not Currently Recycling 

This symbol explains to people that 20% of local councils recycle this packaging in their recycling process.

Widely Recycled at Recycling Points: Check Locally for curbside

When you see this recycle sign, it informs you that at least 75% of councils have set up recycling points for the public to drop off this type of packaging to be recycled.

As for household recycling, there are currently less than 75% of local councils who have taken action to collect the packaging, so that it can be recycled.

Plastic Films

This recycling plastic symbol can sometimes be found on plastics that can be handed in at recycling carrier bag points in supermarkets.

Metal Paint Cans

Most recycling centres now accept metal paint cans, however this type of recycling information can be found online on your local council’s website.

Mobius Loop

While this recycle logo means that the item can be recycled, this doesn’t necessarily mean that this particular item is accepted for recycling by your local council.

Tidy Man

The tidy man symbol is placed on a lot of packaged items and is a reminder to the customer to dispose of the packaging in an appropriate manner.

This does not mean that the item is recyclable.

Green Dot

The green dot simply means that the producer of this item has contributed financially to the recovery and recycling of packaging in the recycling industry.


This symbol is asking the consumer to dispose of the glass bottle or jar in a bottle bank, or through household recycling, to help continue the process of recycling.

Recyclable Aluminium

This recycle icon informs the customer that the item is made of recyclable aluminium, to help encourage people to recycle materials.

Recyclable Steel

The recyclable steel recycling code informs people that this particular item is made of recyclable steel.

Waste Electricals

This symbol means that electrical items such as household appliances and IT equipment can all be recycled.


This means that the product is industrially compostable.


This symbol informs you that the paper or board has been made from either 50%, 57% or 100% of recycled products, which are waste paper and/or board fibre.

This excludes any mill produced waste fibre.


This symbol informs the customer that the product is made from or contains wood from well managed forests which are in accordance with the rules that FSC have put in place.

Mobius Loop with Percentage

The percentage displayed in the centre of the mobius loop, shows how much of the product is made from recycled materials.


The plastic recycling codes are the mobius loop with a number in the centre informing you of the type of resin used, with letters beneath the symbol.

PET  – Polyethylene Terephthalate Recycling Symbols

Polyethylene Terephthalate is a highly common plastic that a lot of plastic tubs and bottles are made from.

HDPE – High-density Polyethylene Recycling Symbols

High-density Polyethylene or HDPE recycling is generally used for items such as toys, kitchen items along with cable insulation. This is another highly common form of plastic to be used.

PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride Recycling Symbols

Polyvinyl Chloride is a type of plastic most well-known for being used in window frames and doors. Meanwhile, the plastic is also used for wire insulation and sometimes flooring and footwear.

LDPE – Low Density Polyethylene Recycling Symbols

Low Density Polyethylene is often used for carrier bags and toys, along with other types of packaging.

PP – Polypropylene Recycling Symbols

Polypropylene is used for products that are either blow or injection moulded.

PS – Polystyrene Recycling Symbols

Polystyrene is most well-known for being used in well packaged products that need to be protected. It is also used in CD cases and in cosmetic packs.


This means that the item is made up from any other recyclable materials that are not listed in the previous six plastic code groups.

UK Recycling Symbols

If you found this blog post interesting and useful, then why not share it with your friends and help everyone understand recycling symbols better and make recycling and waste management easier for everyone.

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