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Recycling symbols (Japan)

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Plastic containers and wrapping | Paper containers and wrapping
PET bottles for beverages and soy sauce
Steel cans for beverages | Aluminum cans for beverages
Paper containers and wrapping Paper packs | Corrugated cardboard

FOR A DETAILED EXPLANATION OF THE ORIGIN, DEVELOPMENT AND PRESENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE VARIOUS RECYCLING SYMBOLS UTILIZED IN THE UNITED STATES GO TO: http://www.earthodyssey.com/symbols.html.

In Japan the intended purpose of recycling symbols is virtually identical to the purpose in the United States. The recycling symbols fall into the category of 'recyclable' symbols and are generally referred to as identification marks rather than recycling symbols. The symbols facilitate the sorting of discarded consumer packaging materials when garbage is put outside the dwelling unit for scheduled municipal collection. As in the United States, the symbols are intended for placement on individual containers and packaging to facilitate their collection and sorting.

The identification and sorting of recyclable materials encourages the process of conservation. A legal statute entitled "Law Concerning Promotion of Effective Use of Resources" requires the display of identification marks on cans of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages made from steel or aluminum; on PET bottles for alcoholic beverages, nonalcoholic beverages or soy sauce; and on plastic and paper containers and wrapping. There is no legal requirement for identification marks on paper drink packs that don't contain aluminum or on corrugated cardboard but they may be provided on a voluntary basis. In addition, the material declarations that are seen beneath symbols are not required by law but represent a voluntary effort by bottlers and manufacturers.

'Identification mark' for plastic containers and wrapping

identification mark for a plastic container and wrapping This symbol is applied to plastic containers and wrapping with the exception of PET bottles for beverages or soy sauce. Some rules exist for the sizing and display of this symbol and the others below. In general the minimum size is proscribed to ensure recognition. The trademark for this identification mark is owned by the Plastic Containers and Packaging Recycling Promotion Council.

'Identification mark' for a single material


Identification mark for a single material A container or packaging made from a single material, in this case polyethylene plastic, can be further identified by lettering below the symbol. Such identification is not required in the case of plastics but is considered desirable.

'Identification mark' for composite materials


Identification mark for composite materials A composite material is a container or package made from two or more different materials which can not be individually separated. In the symbol to the left, a composite plastic material is indicated having the components polypropylene and PET. The most prevalent component is underlined.

'Identification mark' for combined materials


Identification mark for combined materials Combined materials are containers or packaging that consist of two more separable components. Combined materials are also referred to as multiple packaging. Each component is then considered to be a single item and the appropriate identification mark applied to each. However, if it likely that all of the components will be discarded at the same time then it is permissible to place a collective mark which identifies the "role" or function of each component (such as lid, outer box, inner bag) under its respective symbol. The "role" made be further identified as to specific material by placing the material identification after a semicolon. In the symbol to the left, a package consisting of multiple packaging is identified as having two individual and separable plastic components, with the material for each listed after the "role" of the material.

'Identification mark' for paper containers and wrapping


identification mark for a paper container and wrapping
This category of identification mark excludes paper drink packs which have their own voluntary mark. The trademark for the paper containers and wrapping identification mark is owned by the Paper Containers and Packaging Recycling Promotion Council.

'Identification mark' for paper packs


identification mark for paper packs
A voluntary marking for paper packs not using aluminum.

'Identification mark' for corrugated cardboard


identifaction mark for corrugated cardboard This particular identification mark is also a voluntary marking.

'Identification mark' for steel cans for beverages


Identification mark for steel cans for beverages The identification mark for steel cans is a trademark owned by the Steel Can Recycling Association.

'Identification mark' for aluminum cans for beverages


Identification mark for aluminum cans for beverages The identification mark for aluminum cans is a trademark owned by the Aluminum Can Recycling Association.

'Identification mark' for PET bottles for beverages and soy sauce


Identification mark for PET bottles for beverages and soy sauce This mark of course comes directly from the recyclable symbol in the United States for PET (PETE). PET is the acronym for polyethylene terephthalate which is the most widely used plastic in consumer packaging. The identification mark for PET bottles is a trademark owned by the PET Bottles Recycling Promotion Council.


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