Recycling Symbols

Symbols now appear on packaging advising consumers and promoting environmental claims. With packaging often being produced for a worldwide market, there can be some confusion about what each symbol means.

Below is a guide of the commonly used recycling symbols that you might find on some of the everyday items you buy.

What determines whether a product can be recycled is the availability of secure, local, ethical and sustainable markets. Do not rely on symbols, logos, or the claims of retailers. Find out what can and cannot be recycled in your recycling bin here.


Not currently recycled logo

Please ensure anything with this label on is placed in with the general rubbish.

This includes crisps packets, biscuit wrappers.

Check locally recycling logo

You’ll find this label on some plastic packaging. But in Hampshire you can only recycle plastic bottles. Please place plastic pots, tubs, and trays into your general rubbish bin or take to one of the plastic recycling banks situated around the borough.

Widely recycled logo

You can recycle everything with this label on in Hampshire.

This includes: cans and tins, aerosols, plastic bottles, paper and card.

recycle now logo

The Recycle Now icon is a recognised symbol for recycling and to motivate people into action. The symbol is displayed on most UK supermarket packaging and provides guidance on how to recycle that piece of packing. The curved arrow represents the action and sustainability of recycling. The heart signifies the feel-good nature of the recycling activity.

Mobius loop recycling logo

The Mobius Loop is generally understood to be the international symbol for recycling, but the use of the symbol is entirely voluntary.

Mobius loop with percent sign in the middle

The % in the Mobius Loop indicates that a certain quantity of recycled material has been used in the production of the packaging. This is commonly found on cardboard.

green dot recycling logo

The Green Dot is a symbol used in many European countries. It shows that the producer of the packaging has made a financial contribution towards its recovery and recycling, in the country of origin or sale. This symbol has no relevance in the UK, and does not indicate that the item can be recycled locally.


There are six different types of plastic polymer commonly used to make packaging. The symbol used to identify the type of polymer is a triangle with a number inside it and some letters underneath.

Unfortunately the triangle does not mean that the packaging can be collected from the kerbside and recycled in Hampshire.

Recycling symbols


Recycled aluminium logo

This symbol means the packaging is made from aluminium.

recycled steel logo

This symbol means the packaging is made from steel.

Electrical and electronic equipment

Crossed out wheelie bin logo

The crossed-out wheelie bin can be found on items such as batteries, electrical and electronic items.

These can all be recycled at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.


Compostable logoThis is a very new symbol, which means that the packaging is suitable for home composting.

Recycle for Hampshire has teamed up with Get Composting to provide compost bins at special offer prices and other great green products for residents of Basingstoke and Deane.

Still confused?

If there is a symbol or logo you don't understand or you need further information, please visit the Recycle for Hampshire website.

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