Packaging Recycling and Sustainability Symbols in the EU: An Overview

The Universal Recycling Symbol is also known as the Mobius Loop, and, according to our research, it can be used on a voluntary basis. It is based on the “Mobius strip” and depicts three chasing arrows, which reference the cyclical process of reusing and recycling products or materials.

Companies that affix the Mobius Loop to their products are signalling the recyclability of their products or packaging. If they do so, they may need to provide evidence that their products and packaging are indeed recyclable.
For example, according to the “Guidelines for Voluntary Environmental Labeling” published by the CONAI, companies affixing the Mobius Loop on products for sale in Italy can only do so if they are in compliance with the requirements of the EN ISO 14021 standard.
Note that we were unable to find information regarding the accepted usage of the Mobius Loop in other EU countries.
Commission Decision 97/129/EC: Identification System For Packaging Materials
Commission Decision 97/129/EC establishes material identification codes for plastics, paper, and other packaging materials.
These codes, which are generally voluntary, are provided as abbreviations and numbers. They indicate the nature of the packaging materials to facilitate their collection, reuse, and recovery.
Product scope
Commission Decision 97/129/EC covers all packaging and packaging waste covered by the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, such as the following:
Plastic packaging
Paper packaging
Aluminium packaging
Glass packaging
Identification system
Annexes I to VII of the Decision provide the covered categories of packaging material, their abbreviations, and numberings.