Department - Author 1

Graphic Communication Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Graphic Communication



Primary Advisor

Penny Bennett


Recycling has become a more prevalent practice in the last few decades. However, the labeling system on today’s packaging is not always clear in indicating whether something is recyclable. Recently, there has been a great deal of attention directed at a new system, known as the How2Recycle label, an innovative labeling system expected to launch in the next few years. As the population continues to grow at unprecedented levels and more strain is placed on the global environment, recycling becomes more crucial. In the United States, the lack of a standard system for recycling on labeling and packaging deters people from properly recycling recyclable mat­erials. However, if a well-designed, standardized system were developed and employed, more people would practice recycling and thus, less recycled material would be thrown away into landfills.

The purpose of this study was to examine the disadvantages of the current labeling system on packaging and its efficiency in encouraging consumers to properly recycle. It also looks at the How2Recycle labeling system and how it compares to the current system. A survey was conducted to gather data in order to establish how effective these two labeling systems are at communicating recyclability. The primary research objectives were to determine the efficiency of the current labeling system on packaging and evaluate the potential of the How2Recycle label. Results from the survey data demonstrated the inefficiency and weaknesses of the current system. The data showed that the How2Recycle label scheme was preferred to today's system and had potential for success in the future.