What is collected and recycled locally varies greatly due to the fragmented U.S. recycling system.

And because there is so much local variation, it is really challenging to communicate about recycling, especially on a national basis.

It is influencing people’s capacity for decision-making.

In a study we did on consumer attitudes and perceptions about the recyclability information on labels, 71% of respondents said they wished there was a simpler method to learn what can and cannot be recycled in their neighborhood.

We are aware that consumers are interested in recycling and that they are specifically looking for recycling instructions on product labels.

However, the regulatory landscape surrounding recyclability promises and what can actually be on-label is changing at the same time.

In addition to the extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation in California and the future prospective adjustments to the national Green Guide recommendations, there are also infrastructure changes taking place in recycling systems around the nation.

However, big CPG, food, and beverage businesses don’t market or manufacture their goods on a local or state-by-state basis.

They are putting together packages for a local or international market. A national solution is required.

What is Recycle Check and How Does it Solve the Problem in Packaging Industry?

The Recycling Partnership’s Recycle Check platform gives consumers all throughout the country access to local, current recycling information and provides an interactive, package-specific solution.

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Imagine yourself in that crucial situation, with an empty package in front of your trash can.

What should I do with this, you ask yourself. What happens to it? In the garbage or the recycling, please?

The National Recycling Database, created by The Recycling Partnership, is this platform.

It is a very effective tool and cutting-edge resource that is gathering data on recycling access from roughly 9,000 towns across the U.S., or 97% of the country’s population.

The data at the neighborhood level is regularly updated.

The idea is that anyone can instantly find out whether an item is allowed for recycling wherever they are by scanning a QR code on a package in their hands, clicking a link if they are shopping online, and entering their zip code or location into our web page.

Why is it Important to Tackle Consumer Confusion in Recycling?

QR code packaging

Approximately two-thirds of home recyclables are wasted annually, despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans believe recycling has good effects.

And of those, almost half—equating to around 15 million tons of material, not a small amount—are lost to landfill due to ambiguity on what can be recycled and how.

Confusion among customers increases the likelihood that they either won’t engage at all or won’t recycle everything they can.

Regarding contamination, it unquestionably affects the quality or the capacity of recycling systems to correctly process a bale and then sell quality material that can subsequently be converted into recycled content for use in the future.

This raises another problem about that.

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This uncertainty is natural given that what is permitted for recycling varies from location to location and changes over time.

We have a chance to earn customers’ trust by giving them accurate, readily available information that will enable them to make wise recycling choices, ensuring that the recyclable goods we have at home are actually getting recycled.

According to our research, 78% of individuals believe that a QR code with local information would make recycling easier to understand.

Furthermore, 73% responded that it would increase their confidence in the fact that the box would be recycled into something new.

We can now clearly see how this presents a chance to resolve the misunderstanding problem.

What are the Benefits of Adding a QR Code to Your Packaging?


QR codes on packaging offer several benefits:

Enhanced Product Information

QR codes can provide additional information about a product that may not fit on the packaging itself.

By scanning the code with a smartphone, consumers can access detailed product descriptions, instructions, ingredients, nutritional information, and other relevant details.

Improved Traceability

QR codes can be used to track and trace products throughout the supply chain.

This helps ensure product authenticity, monitor the movement of goods, and facilitate recalls or returns if necessary.

It enhances transparency and helps build trust between businesses and consumers.

Interactive Marketing and Promotions

QR codes can be leveraged as a marketing tool to engage customers.

Companies can link QR codes to promotional offers, discounts, or loyalty programs.

It provides an interactive and convenient way for customers to access exclusive content, participate in surveys, or join social media communities related to the product or brand.

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Consumer Engagement and Feedback

QR codes enable direct communication channels between businesses and consumers.

Companies can use QR codes to solicit feedback, conduct surveys, or offer customer support.

This feedback loop helps businesses understand consumer preferences, address issues, and improve their products or services.

Eco-Friendly Packaging

By incorporating QR codes on packaging, companies can reduce the need for additional printed materials.

Instead of printing extensive product information on the packaging, they can provide digital access through QR codes.

This promotes sustainability by minimizing paper waste and reducing the overall environmental impact of packaging.

Convenience and Accessibility

QR codes provide a convenient way for consumers to access information.

With a simple scan, users can quickly retrieve details about a product, such as its origin, manufacturing date, or expiration date.

It saves time and effort, especially when compared to typing in web addresses or searching for specific information manually.

Counterfeit Prevention

QR codes can be used as a security feature to combat counterfeiting.

By integrating unique codes or serialization into packaging, companies can verify product authenticity.

Consumers can scan the QR code to ensure they are purchasing genuine products, which helps protect brand reputation and customer trust.

Overall, QR codes on packaging enhance consumer engagement, improve transparency, and provide additional product information while supporting sustainability efforts and helping businesses combat counterfeiting.

Adding QR codes to your packaging will let your customers know more details about your products such as origin, date of production, and how it’s made.


If you want more information about QR codes on packaging, please contact [email protected]


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