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The Iconic Recycling Symbol

Recycling Symbol
The Recycling symbol holds significant value all over the world. It is an internationally recognised symbol that indicates a product can be recycled.
In 1970, worldwide attention to environmental issues led to the first Earth Day. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the Container Corporation of America, a large producer of recycled paperboard, sponsored a competition for art and design students to help raise awareness of environmental issues. A 23-year old student by the name of Gary Anderson, who was studying at the University of Southern California at the time, won the competition and the recycling symbol that we all recognise was born. Since then the symbol has been used on products and packaging all over the world.

The Recycling Symbol Use

Gary Anderson Recycling Symbol
Despite the Container Corporation of America’s attempts to trademark the symbol, it remained in the public domain and, as such, anyone may use or modify the recycling symbol royalty-free. This symbol now sets the standard for recycling symbols worldwide and forms the foundation for most of the recycling symbols we see today.

Although the symbol has evolved to have different meanings and provide different information, it was still a significant design that inspired thought and brought attention to the world’s environmental issues.

The Importance of the Recycling Symbol

This iconic symbol serves as a reminder that we should reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect and preserve our planet.

The plastic crisis is a growing issue and, while we can all play our part to solve this ever-growing problem, we still throw away millions of tonnes of plastic on a daily basis. It’s time to make a stand. We need to switch to eco-friendly products and stop using single-use plastic.