Admit it: You’ve slipped something into the recycling bin that you weren’t entirely sure was recyclable, right? Most of us have done it, assuming it’s better to throw it in the bin and your local recycling processing facility can remove it, if necessary. That’s referred to as “wish-cycling” or “aspirational recycling” which is the act of placing a non-recyclable item into the recycling bin with the hopes it will be recycled. But it actually does more harm than good.
Most consumers want to reduce waste and recycle, but recycling is increasingly confusing and complex. There’s so much we’re supposed to remember, and those numbers, shapes and symbols on the bottom of packages add to the confusion. Plus, recycling rules vary from county to county, state to state.
Fortunately, a system has come along that makes it easy for us to know what can and can’t be recycled. The How2Recycle® label, a project of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition®, is a U.S.- and Canada-based standardized labeling system that communicates recycling instructions to consumers – clearly.
The new-and-simplified label communicates what consumers need to know – what material the package is made of, if it’s recyclable and any special instructions, such as “discard lid and rinse tray.”
The How2Recycle program helps brands improve the public’s understanding of packaging end-of-life, and material manufacturers and converters to design for recyclability in packaging earlier in the supply chain.
Lowe’s recently partnered with How2Recycle and committed to adding important recycling information to its private brand products – from home décor labels such as allen + roth and the newly launched Origin 21 to our recently acquired STAINMASTER brand and even our own hardlines brand, Kobalt – by 2025. Products as diverse as paper towels (Bounty) and cleaning solutions (Clorox) bear the How2Recycle label already today. By adding the How2Recycle label to all its private brand packaging, Lowe’s hopes to educate and empower consumers on the proper disposal of product packaging and reduce landfill waste.
The new and improved labels will be phased in beginning immediately. “We have onboarded new teammates specific to this initiative,” said Cassandra Fuhrmann, Director of Packaging Operations. “A manager of packaging innovation and development started in late August. That’s the first role of its kind for Lowe’s and affords us the opportunity to make this commitment and open the door for more sustainability opportunities over the coming months and years.”
Over 400 brands (KraftHeinz, Smucker’s, Morton Salt, and more) and retailers (Walgreen’s, Walmart, Target, Kroger, and more) are members of How2Recycle, whose products carry the How2Recycle label. Lowe’s is the first national home improvement retailer to join the How2Recycle program. Learn more about Lowe’s commitment to sustainability policies here.
“Our partnership with How2Recycle aligns with our commitment to help customers live more sustainably at home and reduce the impact of the products we sell,” said Chris Cassell, Lowe’s Senior Director of Corporate Sustainability. “Adding the How2Recycle label on our private brand packaging helps us provide clear and concise recycling information to empower our customers to confidently recycle their favorite Lowe’s home improvement products.”
Playing a guessing game is rife with risks. The new labeling system takes all the guesswork out of recycling. It’s about to be easier than ever to do your part for the planet.
If you have questions about recyclability, check out How2Recycle’s guide.
Republished from Lowe’s Corporate news web site.