Recycle Check: Solving consumer confusion with dynamic local information

60% of consumers are confused about what and how to recycle.

Confusion about what and how to recycle causes too many household recyclables – from cereal boxes to yogurt tubs – to end up in landfill. To help address this problem, state-level policy is establishing more transparent packaging labels and recyclability claims requirements, setting the stage for brands to play a critical role in the solution.

In this changing landscape, there are a variety of packaging standards; but what if there was an easy-to-use tool for both brands and consumers?

A data-driven solution to navigate the complex recycling system

Recycle Check is a new platform from The Recycling Partnership that offers an interactive package-specific solution providing localized recycling information to consumers across the U.S. With Recycle Check, consumers can scan a QR code or click a link to get real-time package-specific recycling information in as little as 10 seconds.

This tool simplifies the way product packages provide local recyclability information, utilizing The Partnership’s National Recycling Database, a state-of-the-art resource that centralizes recycling information from more than 9,000 U.S. communities covering 97% of the U.S. population.

How Recycle Check Works


Brands apply for and purchase a customized QR code and link for their eligible package*

Scan item or click link

Recycle Check can be deployed as a customized on-pack QR code or website link for each package. Consumers scan the on pack QR code or click the link.

Find out if it is accepted for recycling locally

This leads to the Recycle Check platform with a pre-filled package type

Recycle or dispose of item

Consumers enter their zip code or allow location permissions and receive a clear, yes-no answer about whether they can recycle the item – in seconds!

*A brand’s application must demonstrate that the package passes design requirements for effective recycling. 

Become an early adopter

The Partnership is launching Recycle Check with a select group of brands who will lead the industry into the future of dynamic and localized recycling communications. Be part of the solution with us. 

Interested brands can apply to be an “early adopter” and implement pilots of the tool in Fall 2022 and Winter 2023.  


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Recycle Check FAQs

What kinds of items are eligible for Recycle Check?
Recycle Check is for packaging that is collected for curbside recycling in the U.S., and passes design requirements for effective recycling. Packaging with multiple components is also eligible.

How much does Recycle Check cost?
There is a set-up fee for each package type, along with an annual subscription fee for each brand using Recycle Check.
Contact for more information.

Will consumers really use QR codes?
More than 85% of Americans now own a smartphone and 75% say they plan on using QR codes. Going further, The Partnership’s consumer research validated that people find QR codes easy to use, with 82% of respondents sharing they would use their smartphone to determine if a package is locally accepted for recycling.

What is the data that informs Recycle Check?
Recycle Check leverages The Partnership’s National Recycling Database, a state-of-the-art resource that centralizes recycling access information from more than 9,000 U.S. communities covering 97% of the U.S. population, aggregating the data in one place so consumers don’t have to search aimlessly for an answer. The database captures local recycling changes as they occur to provide real-time information.

 How do I get a QR Code and link for my package?
Sign up to receive the latest updates, apply to be an early adopter, or contact for more information.

How does Recycle Check interact with other label systems?
The Recycling Partnership is currently in discussions with other organizations to explore collaboration opportunities.

Where can Recycle Check be used?
Recycle Check can be used on a physical packaging label as a QR code or on a product web page as a link.