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Recycling symbols (New Zealand)

flag of New Zealand flag of New Zealand flag of New Zealand flag of New Zealand flag of New Zealand flag of New Zealand
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Paper and cardboard | Glass | Plastic | Metal | Inorganic materials
Garden and food | Mixed materials | Wood | Gypsum board
Batteries | Cartridges | Other (non-recyclable waste)


New Zealand has developed an outstanding and comprehensive system of symbols to identify all waste products, both recyclable and non-recyclable, with the intent of motivating and facilitating their citizens to recycle as much material as possible. In New Zealand, it is important to identify materials that can't be recycled as well as those that can with the ultimate goal of separating materials for collection. The recycling trade organization RONZ developed the symbols with the support of the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment. The primary purpose of the symbols is to identify the bins, containers and collection facilities that are used to accumulate recyclable materials of a given type, as identified by the symbol. In contrast, New Zealand has also developed a style guide consisting of a standard system of colors, font sizes, and graphic sizes that must be followed for use of the published symbols and for the eventual implementation of new symbols as they may be proposed.

While a formal system of identifying recyclable materials initiated with plastic resin identification in the United States, from that point various manufacturer's associations, trade groups, and companies modified the symbols or utilized different symbols that diverged away from the original three-chasing-arrow mobius triangle. Therefore, at least in the United States, the consumer is presented with a varying array of recycling symbols depending on the product and raw material. In contrast, New Zealand has promulgated a unified system that allows standardized deviations from the basic recycling symbol. The plastic resin identification codes (1-7) have been incorporated within that system to identify particular plastics, demonstrating the wide support of the resin codes by the New Zealand recycling industry.

The basic symbol images can be presented in portrait or landscape orientation as well as in variations that reverse foreground and background colors, as shown below.

recycling symbol showing portrait stylerecycling symbol showing portrait style with reversed coloringrecycling symbol showing landscape style
recycling symbol showing landscape style with reversed coloring

Please note: The graphics provided below are not necessarily an identical match with the official (and precisely detailed) style guide for the symbols, particularly with regard to color.

'Recyclable' symbols for paper and cardboard

recycling symbol for cardboard- flattenedrecycling symbol for paper- confidentialrecycling symbol paper- mixedrecycling symbol for paper- newsprint
recycling symbol for paper- office

'Recyclable' symbols for glass

recycling symbol for glass- all bottles and jarsrecycling symbol for glass- brownrecycling symbol for glass- clearrecycling symbol for glass- green
recycling symbol for glass- window

'Recyclable' symbols for plastic

recycling symbol for plastic containers made from resins no. 1 and 2recycling symbol for plastic containers made from resin No. 1recycling symbol for plastic containers made from resins No. 1 through 6recycling symbol for plastic containers made from resin No. 2
recycling symbol for plastic milk bottle containers made from resin No. 2recycling symbol for a plastic container and wrappingrecycling symbol for plastic bags and wrappings made from resin No. 4recycling symbol for plastic containers made from resin No. 5
recycling symbol for plastic containers made from resin No. 6recycling symbol for expanded plastic made from resijn No. 6recycling symbol for plastic containers made from resins in the other or No. 7 category

'Recyclable' symbols for metal

recycling symbol for aluminum cansrecycling symbol for cans- aluminum, tin or steelrecycling symbol for cans- tin or steel
recycling symbol for metal- iron or steelrecycling symbol for metal- other

'Recyclable' symbols for inorganic materials

recycling symbol for appliances- electronicrecycling symbol for appliances- whitewearrecycling symbol for ceramic materialsrecycling symbol for concrete
recycling symbol for fabric- clothing and ragsrecycling symbol for furniture

'Recyclable' symbols for garden and food

recycling symbol for food scrapsrecycling symbol for garden- clippings

'Recyclable' symbols for mixed materials

recycling symbol for mixed materials- glass, cans or plastic resin Nos. 1 and 2recycling symbol for mixed materials- glass, cans or plastic resin Nos. 1, 2 or 5recycling symbol for mixed materials- plastic resin Nos. 1 and 2 or cans

'Recyclable' symbols for wood

recycling symbol for wood lengthsrecycling symbol for wood- treatedrecycling symbol for wood- untreated

'Recyclable' symbol for gypsum board

recycling symbol for gypsum- plasterboard

'Recyclable' symbol for batteries

recycling symbol for batteries

'Recyclable' symbols for cartridges

recycling symbol for cartridges- ink ribbonrecycling symbol for cartrideges- toner or ink ribbonrecycling symbol for cartridges- print toner

Symbols for other materials (non-recyclable waste)

recycling symbol for waste materials for disposal in a landfillrecycling symbol for waste materials that are not recyclable

A New Zealand 'Wheelie Bin'

a New Zealand wheelie bin

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