Our recycling designs are the only designs that seamlessly
match Gary Anderson's original 1970 design

We have added Upcycling,  Downcycling, Reuse, Refurbished and Reduce

We combined our product label desings with the four models outlined by the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation

1,2,3,4 indicates the best order (exemptions are there)
The reuse symbol comes back below 4 times (arrows):  
Reuse @home, Reuse on the go, and refill in general and refill on the go
The refilling and return symbols allign to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation models. 
This overview can be used for educatonal purposes (for free) 

Copyright © Ellen MacArthur Foundation 

This project has not yet been endorsed or approved by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation.
On 27-09-2023, we have send a out a request to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation to support our project. 

Reuse used to be, the second arrow in the recyclingsymbol. This involves using products or materials again for the same purpose or a different one, which helps to extend their lifespan and reduce waste. We made this design in mirror image of the recyclingsymbol. 

Upcycling is a creative and environmentally friendly approach to reusing materials and products. It involves taking items that are no longer in use or have become waste and transforming them into something new, often of higher quality or value than the original item.

Recycling the origianal logo is designed 1970 by Gary Anderson. 

  1. Reduce: The first arrow signifies the need to reduce consumption. It encourages the reduction of waste generation by using fewer resources and products in the first place.

  2. Reuse: The second arrow symbolizes the concept of reusing items. This involves using products or materials again for the same purpose or a different one, which helps to extend their lifespan and reduce waste.

  3. Recycle: The third arrow represents recycling, which involves processing materials to create new products. Recycling helps divert waste from landfills and conserves resources.

Downcycling is a term used to describe the recycling process in which materials or products are recycled or repurposed into lower-quality or less valuable items compared to the original. Unlike upcycling, which aims to improve the quality or value of materials, downcycling typically results in a degradation of the material's properties.

Reusing items at home is an effective way to reduce waste, save money, and promote sustainability. Here are some ideas and tips for incorporating reuse into your daily life at home:

  1. Glass Jars and Containers: Instead of throwing away glass jars and containers from food products, wash and reuse them for storing pantry items, homemade sauces, or leftovers. They're great for organizing small items like buttons, screws, or craft supplies.

  2. Clothing and Textiles: Rather than discarding old clothing or textiles, consider repurposing them. Old T-shirts can become cleaning rags, and worn-out jeans can be transformed into stylish denim shorts or skirts. You can also turn fabric scraps into quilts or decorative items.

  3. Furniture and Home Decor: Look for pre-owned furniture and home decor items at thrift stores, garage sales, or online marketplaces. With some creativity and DIY skills, you can refurbish and personalize these pieces to fit your style.

  4. Composting: Organic kitchen waste like fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells can be composted to create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. This reduces the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfills.

  5. DIY Cleaning Products: Make your own cleaning solutions using common household ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Reuse spray bottles for your homemade cleaners instead of buying new ones.

  6. Shopping Bags: Bring your reusable shopping bags to the grocery store and other shops to reduce the need for single-use plastic bags. Keep a few reusable bags in your car or by the door for easy access.

  7. Plastic Containers: Wash and reuse plastic containers from takeout or food purchases. This helps reduce plastic waste and saves money on disposable options.

  8. Gift Wrapping: Get creative with gift wrapping by using newspaper, old maps, or fabric scraps instead of disposable wrapping paper. You can also reuse ribbons and bows from previous gifts.

  9. E-waste Recycling: Dispose of electronic waste (e-waste) responsibly by recycling old gadgets and electronics through designated recycling programs or electronic waste collection centers.

  10. Cloth Napkins and Dish Towels: Replace disposable paper napkins and paper towels with cloth alternatives that can be washed and reused.

  11. Mending and Repair: Learn basic sewing and repair skills to mend clothing, shoes, and household items instead of replacing them when they have minor issues.

  12. Bottled Water: Use a reusable water bottle and refill it from your tap or a water filtration system instead of buying single-use plastic water bottles.

Reuse on the go is about forwarding your items to:

  1. Upcyclingday: put your items in front of your house and let people take it for free on Upcyclingdays.
  2. Thrift Stores (second hand shops) and Charity Shops: Many thrift stores and charity shops accept donations of clothing, furniture, household items, and more. These items are typically resold, and the proceeds often support charitable causes.

  3. Online Marketplaces: Websites and apps like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Freecycle allow you to sell or give away items to people in your local community or beyond.

  4. Local Donation Centers: Local charities, churches, and community organizations often have donation centers where you can drop off items like clothing, toys, and household goods.

  5. Eco-Friendly Boutiques: Some stores specialize in upcycled or repurposed goods. These boutiques may accept donations or consignments of items that fit their sustainability criteria.

  6. Swap or Barter Groups: Online platforms and local community groups sometimes organize swap events or bartering opportunities where you can exchange items you no longer need for something you do.

  7. Recycling Centers: Recycling centers or recycling programs may accept certain items for repurposing or recycling, such as electronics, metals, and paper.

  8. Electronic Waste Recycling Centers: If you have old electronics or appliances, look for e-waste recycling centers that can properly dispose of or refurbish these items.

  9. Furniture Restoration Workshops: Some communities have workshops or organizations that restore and repair old furniture. They may accept furniture donations or offer restoration services.

  10. **Art and Craft Supplies: If you have surplus art and craft supplies, consider donating them to local schools, community centers, or art programs.

  11. Clothing and Textile Recycling: Some locations have textile recycling bins or drop-off points where you can deposit old clothing and textiles for recycling into new materials.

  12. Libraries: Some libraries have book donation programs or book swaps where you can bring books you no longer need and exchange them for others.

  13. Food Banks: Non-perishable food items that are still within their expiration dates can be donated to local food banks to help those in need.

  14. Toy Libraries: Some communities have toy libraries where you can donate or borrow toys, reducing the need to buy new ones.

  15. Tool Libraries: Similar to toy libraries, some areas have tool libraries where you can borrow tools and equipment or donate items you no longer use.

  16. Environmental Organizations: Certain environmental organizations may accept donations of specific items, such as outdoor gear or camping equipment, for educational or conservation purposes.

  17. Travel Cutlery: Carry a set of reusable utensils (fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks) in a small pouch or case for use when eating on the go.

  18. Reusable Straws: If you like to use straws, bring a reusable straw made of stainless steel, glass, or bamboo, and use it instead of disposable plastic straws.

Copyright © Ellen MacArthur Foundation 

The refilling symbol, indicates that the item is designed to be refilled or reused rather than disposed of after a single use. Its purpose is to encourage consumers to reduce waste and environmental impact by refilling the container or using a refillable product. Users are responsible for cleaning and keeping the reusable packaging.

This symbol can be used for refilling in general or refilling @home.

  1. Water Bottles: Instead of purchasing single-use bottled water, use a reusable water bottle and refill it from your tap or a water filtration system.

  2. Coffee Containers: Buy bulk coffee beans and refill your coffee container or grinder, reducing the need for single-use coffee pods or pre-packaged coffee.

  3. Cleaning Products: Invest in refillable cleaning product containers and buy bulk or concentrated cleaning solutions. Dilute them as needed to refill your containers.

  4. Cooking Oil: Purchase cooking oil in larger quantities, then refill smaller bottles or containers for everyday use.

  5. Hand Soap: Use refillable hand soap dispensers and buy bulk hand soap or refill pouches to reduce plastic waste.

  6. Shampoo and Conditioner: Opt for refillable shampoo and conditioner bottles or purchase larger containers to refill smaller ones in your bathroom.

  7. Laundry Detergent: Buy concentrated laundry detergent and use a refillable dispenser to reduce plastic waste.

  8. Dish Soap: Choose a refillable dish soap container and purchase bulk dishwashing liquid to replenish it.

  9. Toiletries: Many toiletries, such as body wash, lotion, and shampoo, come in refillable containers or bulk sizes for refilling smaller bottles.

  10. Cooking Spices: Purchase spices in bulk or larger quantities and refill your spice jars or containers.

  11. Herbs and Tea: Grow your own herbs or buy bulk tea leaves and refill your tea bags or containers instead of purchasing pre-packaged tea bags.

  12. Craft Supplies: Refill or replenish craft supplies like paint, glue, and markers instead of buying new ones when they run out.

  13. Bathroom Tissue: Consider using reusable cloth wipes or a bidet attachment to reduce the need for single-use toilet paper.

  14. Candles: Refill empty candle jars with wax or purchase candle-making kits to create your own candles.

  15. Ink Cartridges: Refill ink cartridges for your printer rather than buying new ones.

  16. Planters and Garden Supplies: Repurpose containers like plastic bottles or old pots as planters for your garden or indoor plants.

  17. Snack Containers: Instead of purchasing single-serving snack bags, buy bulk snacks and refill reusable containers or snack bags.

  18. Beverages: Brew your own tea or coffee at home and use a reusable thermos or travel mug for on-the-go.

  19. Cosmetics: Some cosmetics brands offer refillable makeup palettes, reducing the need for buying entirely new products.

  20. Cooking Sauces: Refill empty sauce or condiment bottles with homemade sauces or dressings.


Copyright © Ellen MacArthur Foundation 

Refill on the go

In this business model, users refill their reusable container away from home, such as at an in-store dispensing system. Similarly with refill at home business models, users are responsible for cleaning and keeping the reusable packaging.

Existing examples of this reuse model include dispensers where customers can choose the amount/quantity they want to purchase. Dispensing systems like this can be distributed in public spaces, office buildings, can be mobile, or can be placed in traditional stores. Common uses of these systems are for dried goods, like pasta, grains, or beans, and beverages.

Refilling on the go is a sustainable practice that involves refilling reusable containers with various products while you're away from home. This approach reduces single-use packaging waste and can save you money in the long run. Here are some common products you can refill on the go:

  1. Water Bottles: Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it from water fountains, hydration stations, or refill stations available in some public places.

  2. Coffee Cups: If you're a coffee or tea drinker, bring a reusable coffee cup or travel mug to your favorite coffee shop. Many cafes offer discounts when you bring your own cup.

  3. Reusable Shopping Bags: Keep compact, foldable shopping bags in your purse or backpack for spontaneous shopping trips. This eliminates the need for single-use plastic bags.

  4. Reusable Food Containers: When dining out or getting takeout, bring your own reusable containers for leftovers. This reduces food waste and the need for disposable containers.

  5. Condiment and Sauce Containers: Carry small, reusable containers for condiments, salad dressings, or sauces when eating at restaurants or getting fast food.

  6. Toiletries and Personal Care Items: Invest in travel-sized refillable containers for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and other personal care products. Fill them from your larger home bottles.

  7. Hand Sanitizer: Instead of buying single-use hand sanitizer bottles, use a refillable hand sanitizer dispenser and refill it with bulk hand sanitizer when needed.

  8. Refill Stations: Some locations, especially in eco-conscious cities, offer refill stations where you can replenish household products like cleaning solutions, detergents, or personal care items.

  9. Zero-Waste Stores: Look for zero-waste or bulk stores that allow you to refill containers with products like grains, nuts, pasta, and cleaning supplies. Bring your own containers for this purpose.

  10. Food and Snacks: When you want to grab a snack or lunch on the go, use your own containers or bring reusable silicone bags or beeswax wraps for sandwiches and snacks.

  11. Eco-Friendly Retailers: Some eco-friendly retailers specialize in refilling household products such as dish soap, laundry detergent, and cleaning solutions. Bring your empty containers to refill them.

  12. Libraries: Some libraries have book donation programs or book swaps where you can drop off books you no longer need and pick up others for reading while on the go.

  13. Public Transportation: Use public transportation, carpool, or rideshare services to reduce the need for personal car trips, which can help minimize fuel consumption and emissions.


Copyright © Ellen MacArthur Foundation 

For this kind of reuse business model, packaging is collected from customers’ homes. This usually works by customers subscribing to a delivery and collection service. The responsibility for the packaging in this case is with the business or service provider, which takes care of cleaning and redistributing the packaging.

In this model, the collection of packaging often happens upon the next delivery in a regular subscription service, meaning the company delivers new full containers and collects the customer’s empty containers. Because the packaging is recovered by the company, it becomes an asset to be invested in. Packaging is therefore designed with improved functionality and/or looks, giving the user a better experience.

When using this model, it is possible for businesses to share logistics and cleaning facilities, potentially through third-party service providers, to reduce costs.

This model is most well suited to urban areas where transport distances are shorter.

Copyright © Ellen MacArthur Foundation 

This business model involves users getting a product in reusable packaging and returning the packaging at a store or drop-off point, such as a deposit return machine or a mailbox. The packaging is then cleaned and redistributed.

Opportunities for this kind of business model include smart technologies used to tag and track packaging, control deposit payouts and gain user insights. Additionally, customer engagement and brand loyalty can be improved through deposit/reward schemes.

This type of reusable packaging is sometimes offered by a third party business as a service, meaning the brand or retailer does not need to be responsible for the reuse system. The service provider would provide the packaging and handle the collection, washing, and redistribution. This has worked particularly well for beverages and takeaway food.

Standardisation of packaging design can help make reuse affordable and feasible for the whole value chain. System costs are lowered if packaging can be used across brands or even entire product categories, because storage, transport, sorting, and washing can be optimised.

By adopting this symbol, refurbishing companies communicate their commitment to circular practices, symbolizing not just a service but a sustainable lifestyle. It's a mark that resonates with consumers, conveying a dedication to both quality refurbishment and eco-conscious choices. Refurbishing goes beyond repairing functional issues. It often includes repairing, cleaning, and restoring an item to a like-new condition, both functionally and aesthetically.

The primary goal of repair is to fix what is broken or damaged, ensuring that the item can perform its intended function. It may include repairing, cleaning, repainting, and replacing parts to improve the overall condition of the item.

In the realm of sustainability, reducing surpasses all forms of recycling. While recycling is valuable, reducing is the art of mindful minimalism. Consuming less means depleting fewer resources, generating less waste, and placing a lighter burden on our planet. Let's strive together for a world where minimizing our impact becomes the initial choice, and where every conscious decision contributes to a more sustainable future. Less isn't just more; it's better for the Earth we call home.