Recycling Symbols for Print and Web Designers

November 9, 2007

Where can I find good recycling symbols?If you want to use recycling symbols, finding decent graphics for print or web use is important. There may be plenty of information pages around, but the quality of the graphics is often poor: reduce and recycle, yes, but keep them good for reuse!

So here’s some pages of good (or at least interesting) graphics.

Graphics relating to one particular symbol can be found through the individual graphic’s entry. This list is for multiple graphics, whether good quality vectorized symbols (easily resizable) or raster images (not easily resizable). (Some are good in the sense they are interesting graphics.) If I find more, I’ll add them to the list.

recycling and plastics symbols Heather Castles’ Recycling Symbols for Designers – vectorized recycling and plastics symbols for free use.
rainbow coloured recycling symbol Planetpals’ Recycle Symbol, World, Recycling Signs and Bins – some interesting free clip-art: non-standard variations in colour and black and white on the recycling symbol and other, related designs (world, recycling bins).
green recycling bin with recycling symbol recycle symbol as a road sign iStockphoto.com “Recycling Symbol” – large number of stock images.
Boy and girl recycling containers American Forest & Paper Association Recycling Clipart Collection
Conceptual recycling symbol made from hands A female recycling bottles at the recycling yard in Boulder, Colorado Acclaim Images Stock Photography “recycle” – large number of stock images.

Disclaimer: READ the Copyright, Fair Use or similar notices on any site you want to take images from. Even within the same site, different images may have different copyright or usage restrictions (from none to very strict), and different fees (ranging from none to exclusive use). Some symbols may be trademarks. In any case, the owners may take action if they find images misused. Some image creators just want to know that you are using their images before you use them. Some earn their living from creating images, and there are some who really don’t mind. It’s your responsibility to check.

Update – 2008/02/28: added 2 more image sources. And a usage disclaimer.

This entry is part of the Infomancy Eco-Symbols Series.

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3 Responses to “Recycling Symbols for Print and Web Designers”


  1. this site is shit man we should be doing more to save the earth i do my part as i am an eco warrior

  2. infomancie Says:

    Hi Joanas,

    Some people need information, so they know what they can do. If I provide that, I may be able to say I’ve helped. (In fact I know that I have.)

    Also, doing some research of my own, educates me. (I know I’ve learnt several things.) And it does no harm to pass that on.

  3. Dan Poresky Says:

    Eco-elitists like Joanas, who bad-mouth and denigrate eco-newbies, do more to hinder than to advance the movement toward sustainability. Achieving a sustainable environment requires buy-in from the general public, most of whom come to it thinking that environmentalist are preachy, tree-hugging, tofu, twig and seed munching hippie socialists. True, some were and a few still are. Maybe there should be a new name to differentiate the Earth worshipers from the Earth stewards. But we don’t. So it becomes the job of Joanas and other eco-warriors to reach out and graciously welcome and encourage newcomers by building on where they are instead of tearing them down because they are not where we think they should be.

    Fortunately, a kind eco-veteran took me under his wing or I might still be on the other side.

    The new universal environmental symbol ‘One with the Earth’ redefines environmentalism simply as ensuring a livable world for our children and future generations. To accomplish this requires fundamental change in how we relate to the natural world.

    Why? Because, in the past hundred or so years and for the first time in history, the impact of human activity on the environment has gone beyond the tipping point to where we are now degrading and depleting Earth’s resources faster than nature can renew them. Every day there are more people scrambling for diminishing reserves. We are literally rendering the planet uninhabitable.

    We are at a pivotal time in the history of humanity. We either adapt to a planet with limits or we perish. And unlike other challenges past and present, this one is a timed test.

    So, eco-warriors, here’s your challenge– learn about, use, and help promote the ‘One with the Earth’ symbol by spreading the word. More info here: http://www.onewiththeearth.org and on this blog: https://infomancie.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/one-with-the-earth-a-grassroots-environmental-symbol/


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