Sustainable Packaging Coalition Launches How2Recycle Label

Kellogg Co. joins other brand owners in implementing the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s recycling label.

March 25, 2013
Recycling Today Staff

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), a project of sustainability nonprofit GreenBlue, Charlottesville, Va., has announced the completion of the soft launch of its How2Recycle recycling labeling system.

In addition, major brand name Kellogg Co. will be joining 11 other companies already taking advantage of the How2Recycle label, including Ampac, Best Buy, Clorox, Costco Wholesale, Esteé Lauder Cos., Aveda, General Mills, Microsoft, Minute Maid, Sealed Air, Seventh Generation and REI.

According to SPC, the How2Recycle label is the only packaging labeling system that communicates recyclability across all material types and gives explicit directions to consumers designed to influence their recycling behavior. The labeling system also specifies when a package component is not recyclable.

Research completed prior to and during the soft launch of the project has confirmed that the label is understood by consumers, leads consumers to action, elicits positive impressions of products and companies and meets Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements, SPC says. In addition, SPC says the label is a valuable tool for companies wishing to understand the specific recyclability of their packaging.  

With the Kellogg Co. joining the How2Recycle Label program, the public can expect to see the label on a variety of familiar Kellogg’s and Kashi (Kellogg’s line of natural organic cereal products) products beginning in April of 2013, GreenBlue says.

“At Kellogg, we have a long-standing commitment to sustainability, and the How2Recycle label on our products honors that legacy,” says Melissa Craig of the Kellogg Co. “We continually look for ways to educate consumers on the recyclability of our packaging materials. Consumers need clear, concise communication when it comes to recycling, so materials that can be reclaimed don’t accidentally end up in landfills. This label helps ensure all packaging components are recycled, as intended, to further reduce the environmental impact of our products and promote conservation.”

Of note is Kellogg’s use of the How2Recycle “Store Drop-off” version of the Label for certain plastic bags, wraps and other films acceptable at many retail locations for recycling with plastic carry-out bags, GreenBlue says. The familiar cereal “bag in box” format will carry the label as it applies to the inside bag liner. The SPC has partnered with the Flexible Film Recycling Group of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) to increase the use of this label and awareness regarding film plastic recycling. The paperboard box remains recyclable to the majority of the public either at curbside or municipal drop-off locations.

Full implementation of the label is underway, and companies interested in participating are encouraged to contact GreenBlue. The SPC says its goal is for the label to appear on the majority of consumer product packaging by 2016.

“This long-term project of the SPC is poised to make a significant impact,” says GreenBlue Senior Manager Anne Bedarf, who with GreenBlue Project Associate Danielle Peacock has led the development of the How2Recycle Label. “With the revision of the FTC’s Green Guides, attention again has turned to accurate and transparent recyclability messaging, and the SPC’s How2Recycle label is quickly becoming the industry standard. We designed the business model with a tiered structure to encourage participation by businesses of all sizes, and we look forward to working with a diverse group of forward-thinking companies and stakeholders as we enter the next phase.”

 Companies interested in using the label on their products can visit and contact Bedarf at 434-817-1424, ext. 314, or at