"Please Recycle" claims and logos - a simple and important demonstration of responsibility Go

All of Sappi’s fine paper products are recyclable and we want to do everything we can to help keep these products out of landfills. So, every chance I get, I try to encourage the creative community and corporate marketers to use “please recycle” claims or logos.

Our own collateral often reads: “Please help us preserve our planet. If you choose not to keep this ____[fill in the blank], please place it in a recycling bin.  Thank you.”  We encourage reuse first and then recycling.  The statement is often accompanied by the chasing arrow symbol.

The Association for Magazine Media (formerly the MPA) has developed a recycling logo specifically for magazines.  I can just imagine the conversations that went on in the development of the logo.  Something like: “If we just say ‘please recycle’ people might think it’s a reminder to recycle in general, pat themselves on the back for recycling cans and bottles, and then throw their magazine in the trash”.  So the logo is very clear.  Magazines are recyclable.  So are catalogs.  So is direct mail.  

The Direct Marketing Association has done a good job in creating a blue bin please recycle campaign which can be seen at this link:http://www.dmaresponsibility.org/recycle/ The DMA logos are commonly found on catalogs and direct mail post cards, but use is restricted to members only.  Both of the associations offer logos in English and Spanish.

Unlike certification programs, there is a lot of room for creativity in this space.  But be sure your message distinguishes between recycled content and encouraging people to recycle.  According to the FTC Green Guides, the chasing arrow symbol alone indicates that a product is made of 100% recycled materials and is recyclable.

If you are responsible for content development - ask yourself - am I doing enough to promote recycling of paper products?  If you have any examples of creative executions, please share.

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