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A Cleaner World Starts Here

How How2Recycle® Began

How2Recycle began in 2008 as a project of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. By 2020, How2Recycle has grown to over 225 brand and retailer members and has issued more than 100,000 design recommendations to members to make their packaging more recyclable.

Q&A on How2Recycle®

Why was How2Recycle created?

How2Recycle was created through an identified need for an accurate, consistent on-package labeling system. In the past, recyclability labeling was too often absent—or when it was present, greenwashing was common. There was no impartial organization that synthesized and interpreted the divergent and diffuse data about recyclability across all materials. Additionally, there was no pragmatic recovery communication tool for the packaging industry to voluntarily leverage as a group.

What does the How2Recycle label mean for HC customers?

Variation in recycling programs, unclear labeling, and inaccurate recyclability claims make proper recycling a challenge. The How2Recycle label was created to provide consistent and transparent on-package recycling information to consumers and businesses in North America so items could be responsibly disposed of safely and efficiently.

Learn More About the Certification


“For over 30 years, HC’s been providing fiber-based solutions to the North American market – helping organizations and communities positively impact their environmental footprint,” says Bob Mayer, President and CEO of The HC Companies. “We are honored that our fiber-based solutions now carry this prestigious designation as we continue to innovate our product line to satisfy the environmental demands of growers, garden centers, big-box stores, and of course consumers.”

Recycling still has big problems that need solving, like increasing the quantity of valuable materials getting into the recycling cart, reducing contamination from non-recyclable packaging that does not belong there, and the economic disparities between virgin and recycled material pricing. Packaging is a reality of our daily lives – How2Recycle is influencing companies to make their packaging more recyclable and believes in the power of labeling for recyclability so people know what to do. 

How2Recycle membership demonstrates a commitment towards sustainability, leadership in your field and helps businesses connect with their customers in a new and meaningful way. Becoming a member of How2Recycle means that you’re taking a real step towards leadership and transparency in recycling and sustainability. By making an authentic commitment to better recycling information on your packaging and products, you’re showing that you walk the walk. 

As more and more consumers seek sustainable alternatives when making purchasing decisions, membership in the How2Recycle program allows HC to satisfy the demands being placed on our industry partners by retail. It also demonstrates our continued commitment to overall sustainability within the organization. 

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