Recycling The Logo Lowdown
Recycling is a big concept in the direct marketing industry. Consumers are calling out for more environmentally friendly practices and less waste, and marketers are obliging by testing recycled papers, smaller trim sizes, benign adhesives and poly-free envelopes, among other initiatives. One way to communicate all these efforts to the public is through the use of the American Forest and Paper Association's recycling logos. But user beware: It is imperative that these logos and claims be used in accordance with Federal Trade Commision guidelines, so that you do not deceive, mislead or otherwise misinform consumers.
The recycling symbol can be used by itself to identify pieces that are printed on 100-percent recycled paper or made entirely from recycled content. Packages and printed pieces made from less than 100-percent recycled materials can still bear the recycling symbol, but that symbol must be accompanied by qualifying text that identifies the total percentage of recycled fiber, such as, "50% total recycled fiber."
The recyclable symbol can be used by itself to identify pieces that, after use, can be recycled. This is a difficult claim to make, however, because recycling programs vary on a local basis, and therefore your product or printed piece may not be recyclable for all consumers. If you make this claim, it should be accompanied by a disclaimer, such as, "This package may not be recyclable in your area."
Because all recycling programs are not available in all areas, you cannot request that consumers recycle your printed pieces or packages. Enter the RecyclePlease.org logo, which was developed by the Direct Marketing Association to educate consumers about the direct marketing community's commitment to recycling initiatives. The logo does not represent any claims of recycled content or recyclability, so it can be used on any piece.