EPA looks to toss ‘deceptive’ plastics recycling symbol

photo source: POLITICO
photo source: POLITICO

EPA is urging the Federal Trade Commission to ditch the iconic chasing arrows recycling symbol for plastics, a move the environmental agency says will help prevent more plastic material from entering landfills and incinerators.

EPA’s recommendation comes as the agency struggles to address the nation’s low recycling rates and as calls mount to curb the global plastic pollution crisis.

The agency’s push is backed by both environmentalists and the plastics industry, which have often diverged on solutions to address the plastic pollution and its toll on the environment, wildlife and human health.

At issue is the chasing arrows symbol combined with “resin identification code,” a number from 1 through 7 that appears in the middle of the symbol.

That code was never meant to signal the recyclability of a product, according to international standards organization ASTM, and pairing the universally accepted recycling symbol with the resin identification code is “confusing,” EPA said in a comment to FTC.

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