McDonald’s is the first national restaurant chain to join How2Recycle, a program dedicated to communicating recyclability to the public. The move was announced by GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition.
Initially, McDonald’s will label its standard paper carryout bags with the “Widely Recycled” version of the How2Recycle Label. The label indicates at least 60 percent of the US population has access to recycle the particular packaging materials used.
Carryout bags will include the additional message, “Recycle if Clean & Dry,” since bags with grease or food residue are often not accepted in recycling programs. The How2Recycle Label requires that all components of a package be labeled–for consistency and transparency–and that extra messaging be used for unique packages that could contaminate the recycling stream due to consumer actions or additional packaging components.
McDonald’s is also exploring the use of the How2Recycle Label on other packaging, including the iconic Happy Meal box which could help educate younger consumers about proper recycling techniques.