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Meme of the Week
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Article of the Week
Is the Recycling Symbol Going Away?
In 1970, young Gary Anderson was a humble 23-year-old architecture student who entered a contest to design a recycling logo. His design was fairly simple: three folded arrows chasing each other round and round in a triangle. It looked like something a five-year-old could draw, but hey, it won!
At the time, lil’ Gar was a clueless young lad who had no idea that his symbol would mean anything other than the $2500 prize money he received. The contest was sponsored by a box company, after all, which is basically the least sexy contest sponsor in the history of the universe.
Flash forward to today, and Gary’s chasing arrows have become a globally recognized symbol for recycling. If you see those arrows, you know that the item that you’re holding is either recyclable or made of recycled materials. Well, almost half a century later, the EPA now wants to do away with Gary’s arrows.
The reason? Because recycling in America is f*cked. People see Gary’s little symbol on an item and naturally assume that they can put it in the recycling bin. The truth is that some of the items with the recycling symbol on it aren’t even recyclable.
The issue has gotten so out of hand that even little Gary, who’s now 75 btw, agrees with the EPA. Turns out that plastics that are labeled 3 through 7 (the number is usually printed in the middle of Gary’s triangle) aren’t actually recyclable in the United States. Cool.
The EPA has asked the FTC to replace Gary’s triangle with a solid triangle on these types of plastics to reduce confusion. Misusing the symbol only contributes to the plastic problem in the U.S., and lil’ Gar never wanted that.
So far the FTC has left the EPA on read, but we hope they implement changes soon. It would be great if recycling could be a solution to fight plastic waste instead of a confusing concept that does more damage, no?