I bought some radishes at the supermarket and they came with this unusual tag. It's like a tag was co-molded with a rubber band.
I figured there's no way this is recyclable. However, on the back there's this:
So I checked it out. This ElastiTag is apparently used not only by farms, but by consumer products giants like Procter & Gamble and Unilever, as well as household staples like Listerine, Coppertone and Method.
The hype seems to be that the tag is fully recyclable, and that an organization called TagBack takes care of it all.
I then looked them up. TagBack is an initiative created by Bedford Industries, a company that manufactures consumer products closure systems like twist-ties, bread bag clips and yes, the ElastiTag. The idea behind TagBack is that they'll take back every closure they produce and recycle it into something usable (outdoor furniture made from post-consumer resin, as an example). They supposedly place drop-points in supermarkets, though mine doesn't have one.
Alternatively you can mail the tags back to them. However, when I clicked on their "print a return label" link, I learned that we consumers are meant to pay for the postage.
While I think Bedford Industries should take a page from Nespresso's book and pay for the postage, I do admire that the company is attempting to shoulder the responsibility of recycling the thing they make money off of. I know product tags might seem like a small, inconsequential thing, but that's exactly the point; if we paid attention to everything we buy (and what it's wrapped in) as carefully as these tags, the planet would be better off.
What I'd really like to see is the key producers of technically-recyclable-but-rarely-actually-recycled single-use plastic, like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, assume responsibility for taking back the packaging that they profit from.
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