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Consumer Brands Offers Local Recycling Data Through SmartLabel

recycling SmartLabel

The Consumer Brands Association and The Recycling Partnership are providing consumers with up-to-date, localized recycling instructions on product packaging through the CBA’s SmartLabel digital QR code labeling platform. 

Consumers can scan the thousands of products that use SmartLabel to access The Recycling Partnership’s Recycle Check, a package-specific, data-driven solution to help navigate the system.

“Consumer confusion about recycling capabilities in their neighborhoods has been a longstanding challenge,” said Rishi Banerjee, senior director of SmartLabel at CBA.

“The new ability to integrate Recycle Check local recycling information into SmartLabel means consumers can find out exactly how to recycle products in the zip code where they live – eliminating common questions about what is accepted for recycling and whether the cap should stay on, or a label should be peeled off.”

For SmartLabel products now integrating Recycle Check, consumers can scan the QR code on the package and enter their zip codes or allow location permissions to access clear instructions on how and whether to recycle that product in their specific locations.

The recycling framework nationwide has resulted in a patchwork of about 10,000 local programs, each with its own set of rules. 

According to research from The Partnership, 78 percent of respondents look at packaging labels to know whether a product is recyclable, yet 63 percent still report confusion after doing so. 

“Recycling confusion is a key factor in the two-thirds of household recyclables wasted each year. With eight in 10 people saying recycling is worth the effort, we have an opportunity to provide clarity to combat the loss of recyclables,” said Sarah Dearman, chief innovation officer at The Partnership.

“Providing clear, dynamic recycling information will be especially important as state-level policies change recyclability claims requirements.”

Consumer products companies have already begun announcing plans to use Recycle Check, as CBA encourages further adoption of SmartLabel.

“Consumer Brands appreciates The Recycling Partnership’s development of a new tool that can work in conjunction with SmartLabel to provide consumers with the information they need to ensure their recycling efforts line up with the rules specific to where they live,” Banerjee said.

“I’m confident our collaboration on this issue will help move America’s recycling rates in the right direction, and I look forward to integrating even more valuable resources into SmartLabel in the future.”

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Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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