When shopping, we usually pay attention only to the composition of the products we choose. However, not many people are interested in the symbols on the packaging, their meaning and recyclability. Often plastic, covering the products available in shops, can be harmful to our health if, for example, it is used more than once or if it comes into contact with food. That’s why it’s important to know the meaning of the most important symbols on everyday products from the perspective of ecology, environmental protection, waste treatment, but also ethics and health.
The Green Dot – This symbol confuses many people. It is wrongly interpreted as an indication of recyclable packaging. Meanwhile, the Green Dot logo indicates that the producer provides financial support for the waste recovery system.
Recycling – Since 1970, it has been an official and universal symbol of recycling. It indicates that the product or packaging is recyclable.
Mobius Loop Percentage – This symbol denotes the percentage of recycled material used in that particular product.
Tidy man – this symbol should remind the consumer that the packaging of a used product should end up in a bin and not in a forest or on the street.
WEEE Symbol – it means that the product shouldn’t be disposed in a general garbage and mixed with other wastes. Therefore, it should be taken to an electrical waste collection point. You can find it mostly on electronic equipment, batteries, audio and video devices and household appliances.
Compostable – this symbol is a registered trademark of European Bioplastics and is used to show that the packaging is certified to be compostable.
CE Symbol – It can be found most often on the packaging of cosmetics. It means that the product was manufactured in accordance with the regulations of the European Union.
Forest Stewardship Council – informs that the wood used for a product comes from forest areas managed by ecological principles
Recyclable Aluminum – this symbol means the aluminium used in the product can be recycled
Symbol of the Reutilisation – the symbol used on reusable packaging (must be usable at least twice), such as glass bottles.
Ecolabel – it was established by the European Commission in 1992 and is the major European award for products conformed to higher environmental standards. It informs the consumer that the products are not harmful to the environment, from the moment of the production to their disposal.
Vegan – It appears on food & cleaning products, clothing, cosmetics and even services. Means that no ingredients of animal origin were used at any stage of production.
Organic farming – The presence of this symbol on any product indicates the conformity of the product with the EU regulation on organic farming, i.e. without using chemical plant protection products and synthetic fertilizers.
Cruelty-free – It’s commonly used on the packaging of cosmetics and make-up products. Means that the product has not been tested on animals at the research stage.
Symbols on plastic products:
PETE / PET – used to make disposable packaging and bottles for mineral water, shouldn’t be reused.
HDPE – Indicates a safe plastic that can be reused.
PVC – Used for the production of plastic bags, it should be avoided.
LDPE – It’s used in food packaging and it’s relatively safe.
PP – so-called Polypropylene. It is used in large scale to produce toys, household goods and various types of packaging.
PS – used to produce polystyrene and should not come into contact with food
Others– the most dangerous and toxic plastics. It is recommended to avoid them.