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The Mobius Loop: Plastic Recycling Symbols Explained

Posted on 21st September 2016 Recycling, Product Design

These days when you buy a product, the packaging can be festooned with an array of symbols. In a world where it is increasingly important to be environmentally responsible, it is important that we take note. However, with so many symbols, it's easy to get confused about what they mean. Check out our guide.


The Mobius Loop

Mobuis Loop recycle symbolThe Mobius loop is the unfamiliar name of a very familiar symbol: a triangle composed of three arrows looping back on themselves in clockwise direction. This symbol indicates that a product can be recycled, but not necessarily that it has been itself produced from recycled materials. Sometimes it has a percentage figure in the middle, indicating how much of the product comes from recycled materials.


The Mobius Loop with a Number


When the Mobius loop symbol appears on a plastic item, it will have a number from 1-7 in the middle of the looping arrows. This number indicates the type of plastic and how it should be recycled. Check out our blog on The 7 Types of Recyclable Plastic for more information.


The Green Dot

Green Dot Logo
This symbol is a circle composed of two green arrows looping into one another in a kind of yin-yang arrangement. A company can label its packaging with the green dot even if the product is not recyclable and is not made from recycled products - it means that the company has donated money towards the recycling of packaging somewhere in the world.


Glass Recycling


The symbol that indicates that glass is recyclable is composed of a triangle of three arrows travelling clockwise (but not folded back on themselves like the mobius loop) surrounding a figure throwing a bottle into a bottle bin. 


Aluminium and Steel Recycling


Whoever designed the aluminium recycling symbol opted for two arrows travelling in a circle around the letters 'alu'. The steel team didn't get the memo about the arrows; their recycling symbol is a magnet sucking on a tin can.



Aluminium recycling logo

Paper and card are also widely recyclable and organic items are compostable. All in all, most items that a typical household or business will need to dispose of have a good chance of a second life, provided that we choose to dispose of our used products and their packaging responsibly.


Here at Coda Plastics Ltd, we are dedicated to the recycling of plastics. For us, plastic waste isn't waste; it is a fantastic resource material. We recycle as much of our own waste plastic as possible and we also take in waste from other manufacturers and re-use it to make new products.


If you have a product design idea that you would like to see implemented in plastic by our environmentally responsible company, please contact us on +44 1692 501020 or email sales@coda-plastics.co.uk.


Want to know more about our environmental approach to plastics manufacturing? Follow us on Twitter at @CodaPlastics.


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