7 Green Ways to Use a Recycling QR Code for Waste Management

Update:  June 08, 2024
7 Green Ways to Use a Recycling QR Code for Waste Management

Recycling has been a vital practice in solid waste management, and with a recycling QR code, individuals and businesses can enhance their efforts towards sustainability in a scan.

The world generates up to 2.01 billion tons of solid waste yearly, with high-income countries being the main contributors to recyclable dry waste, including plastic, glass, paper, and metal.

By integrating QR codes into waste management strategies, governments and businesses can provide individuals with comprehensive information about various recyclable materials and the proper ways to recycle them. 

Learn how to use QR codes to facilitate proper recycling and disposal for more sustainable waste management in the community and create one using a QR code generator with logo software. 

How QR codes improve waste management strategies

QR codes and sustainability practices can go hand-in-hand. This collaboration provides efficient, technology-driven solutions to proper solid waste management challenges, benefiting the environment and communities.

These compact squares can store vast amounts of information digitally. You can easily integrate them into different mediums, decreasing unnecessary waste from printing additional materials. 

With just a scan using a smartphone’s camera, individuals can immediately access details on how to recycle specific items properly.

This reduces recycling confusion and increases the likelihood of correct waste segregation and disposal. 

Sustainable ways to use a recycling QR code

With the increasing global waste production, how can governments, businesses, and individuals contribute to waste management efforts in their localities?

Here are some green ways to use recycling codes for plastic to promote responsible waste disposal practices and encourage a more sustainable approach to handling recyclable waste materials.

Recycling guidelines

Recycling guidelines QR code

With the different types of solid waste materials that need sorting, people may get confused about which they can still recycle and how to reuse them. 

You can store detailed recycling guidelines in a file QR code to allow users to immediately access information about the proper segregation of recyclables from non-recyclables and the recycling of the items.

By offering specific recycling guidelines through QR codes, individuals and businesses can ensure they send the right materials to the appropriate recycling facilities.

Product recycling information

Brands and businesses can add a URL QR code on packaging and product labels to lead consumers to a website or page that contains the recyclability of the product’s materials and disposal instructions.

Providing easy access to product recycling information through QR codes encourages consumers to be responsible and actively participate in recycling efforts.

It also influences them to choose easily recyclable products with minimal environmental impact, contributing to a circular economy.

Waste sorting instructions

Knowing how to separate recyclables, compostables, hazardous materials, and general waste is one of the main challenges to waste management.

You can place a QR code for waste management on trash bins and collection points to encourage responsible waste disposal habits in your household, school, company, or community.

When individuals know how to segregate materials correctly, they can collectively improve the quality of recyclables and minimize contamination in recycling streams.

Bin locations and collection schedules

Guide individuals to nearby waste bins and the pickup schedules for their area using a location QR code. 

By simply scanning the recycling QR code, they can obtain real-time information about the designated bins for different types of waste and the exact disposal arrangements in their locality. 

This promotes better waste segregation at the source, reducing littering or dumping in streets and public areas.

It also enhances the efficiency of waste collection operations, ensuring timely disposal of particular waste products. 

Clean-up and waste auditing events 

Clean-up drives and waste auditing events can effectively raise public awareness about the extent of plastic pollution

You can use a QR code to provide participants access to guidelines, instructions, and a data collection form where they can record collected waste types, quantities, and sources. 

This ensures they have the necessary information readily available during the event and streamlines the process of recording and categorizing collected waste, ensuring accuracy and consistency in data collection.

Sustainable living tips

Starting a sustainable lifestyle among yourselves can increase your awareness of your consumption patterns and waste generation. 

QR codes allow you to share sustainable living tips with your family, friends, colleagues, or the rest of the community. 

In a scan, individuals can instantly access practical suggestions and actionable steps they can quickly implement in their daily lives, making it easier for them to transition towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

Environmental impact data and policies

Making environmental impact data accessible through QR codes helps raise public awareness about the ecological issues that excessive waste production brings. 

Policymakers and organizations can rely on these data to craft regulations, standards, and initiatives to mitigate the environmental challenges of improper solid waste management and other related problems.

It also lets stakeholders assess the environmental performance of businesses, industries, and governments, holding them accountable for their actions and encouraging responsible practices.

Steps to create a custom QR code for waste management for FREE

Now that you know how to use QR codes for recycling, it’s time to learn how to create a custom one for your personal or community-level recycling efforts. Here are the steps to guide you:

1. Open the QR TIGER QR Code Generator—the most advanced QR code software online that lets you create custom functional QR codes.

P.S. You can use QR TIGER’s free solutions without an account.

2. Choose any of the free QR code solutions and input the required data. For starters, you can use the URL QR code.

3. Select Static QR and click the Generate QR code button.

4. Customize the QR code. You can incorporate a logo, change its colors and pattern style, and add a frame with a clear and concise Call-to-Action (CTA).  

5. Run a test scan to check for errors with your QR code. Select either PNG for digital display or SVG for a high-quality print image.

6. Click Download. This will redirect you to our Plans & Pricing page. Scroll down and enter your email to receive your generated QR code.

You can then incorporate the QR code into product packaging and labels, sorting center signage, or trash bins to let users scan it.

Subscribe or sign up for freemium to use dynamic QR codes

If you want to use dynamic QR codes with advanced features like scan tracking and updateable data, you can get a plan for as low as $7/month.

You may also sign up for freemium and create free QR codes with unlimited scans. You’ll also get three dynamic QR codes, each with a 500-scan limit. 

Top QR code solutions to use from QR TIGER QR Code Generator

QR TIGER offers a variety of advanced QR code solutions that you can use to create and edit a QR code for your recycling initiatives.

Out of all those, we have chosen our top three picks that can help with your green campaign. Check them out below:

File QR code

Using the file QR code solution, you can store diverse and comprehensive recycling-related content and provide rich multimedia resources about waste management. 

This QR code solution can store various file formats, from images and videos to documents. It lets users access extensive recycling codes for plastic guidelines and interactive sorting instructions in a scan. 

They can also download these files on their devices for access on the go.

Google Maps QR code

Google maps QR code

You can create a recycling QR code that leads individuals to specific sorting centers near their area using the Google Maps QR code solution.

It links directly to the interactive mapping platform, allowing you to pinpoint the exact location of recycling facilities, waste collection points, or recycling centers. 

Users can access the routes that lead to these facilities when they scan the code. Other accessible data include operating hours, contact details, accepted materials, and temporary closures or schedule changes.

Multi URL QR code

QR TIGER QR Code Generator offers a Multi URL QR code solution that allows you to store and link multiple URLs or web addresses into one QR code. 

You can set the redirection of the QR code according to the scan time or location, the number of scans, and the device language.

You can also use geo-fencing: Redirect scanners to different links depending on their precise area. But here’s the catch: Only those within the specific area range can scan the QR code and access its content.

When users scan the code at a specific location, they will find a landing page with information about the recycling facilities near their area and their waste collection schedules.

Best practices to guarantee the success of your recycling QR code campaign

QR codes for recycling can effectively educate, engage, and guide users toward proper waste disposal practices with the right strategies. 

Here are some tips you can follow to effectively facilitate waste management and increase the recycling rates within your communities using QR codes. 

Use a dynamic QR code

Unlike its static counterpart, a dynamic QR code has advanced functionalities and customizable features that make it more versatile for various applications:

  • Editable content
  • Scan tracking and analytics
  • GPS tracking (with user consent)
  • QR code geofencing
  • QR code expiry
  • Retarget tool
  • Scan reports via email
  • QR code password
  • URL QR code UTM generator

Since there’s no need to generate a new QR code every time you need to update the content, you can save costs and minimize the production of waste that comes along with printing into physical materials. 

Make sure the QR code’s content is worthwhile

Provide comprehensive and concise information within the QR code, such as sorting instructions. 

You can also link it to interactive content such as quizzes, games, or challenges related to recycling. This encourages engagement and reinforces learning about waste management.

Maintain visual clarity

There are different types of QR codes with differing storage capacities, sizes, and error correction levels that you can use as QR codes for recycling. 

Just ensure the QR code image has sufficient contrast, size, and clarity for easier scanning. For the colors, the rule of thumb is to use dark colors for the QR code’s pattern and light colors for the background.

It’s best to use the SVG format when printing your QR codes. It allows you to stretch out and make your QR code bigger without affecting its quality. This way, you can put QR codes on huge prints like posters or billboards.

Place them in easily visible spots

Placing QR codes for recycling in visible areas is crucial for maximizing their effectiveness and encouraging user engagement.

Ensure the QR code is easily visible and readily accessible, prompting users to scan and learn about proper waste disposal methods.

For a QR code wine bottle and other products, it’s best to place them on prominent areas like the label, the cap, anywhere on the body, or the bottom part. For recycling bins, the lid is a highly suitable spot. 

Place your QR codes for waste disposal signage in areas with high traffic. These include parks, sidewalks, and terminals. More people means more scans.

Add a short and catchy call-to-action

Instruct users to scan when they see the QR code by adding a clear Clear-to-Action (CTA) to it, such as “Learn How to Sort Waste.”

A concise and persuasive CTA motivates users to follow through on the intended action, resulting in higher participation in recycling initiatives.

Real use cases of QR codes in recycling efforts

Numerous businesses and organizations are shifting toward sustainable actions to contribute to waste reduction and resource conservation. 

Here are some brands and organizations that innovatively use a recycle QR code to facilitate sustainability and achieve a circular economy:

Recycle Check 

Non-profit organization Recycling Partnership has launched the labeling platform Recycle Check, which uses a QR code system to deliver recycling information to U.S. consumers. 

People can expect these Recycle Check QR codes on select grocery items such as milk and seasonal frozen pies.

Consumers can scan the QR codes on food packaging and enter their zip code to determine whether the item is recyclable in their area. 

The food companies General Mills and Horizon Organic are the leading adopters of the QR codes and How2Recycle® labels on their packaging. 

Persil’s QR code on packaging

Persil QR code on packaging

Image Source

The laundry detergent brand Persil under Unilever is making recycling initiatives by adding an accessible QR (AQR) code to increase accessibility for visually impaired consumers. 

When users scan the QR code, they can access information about the product, its usage, and the safety and recycling guidelines structured in a particular way to make it easily readable for visually impaired users.


When talking about QR codes for sustainable fashion, Oceanness is on top of the game. 

The fashion brand attaches a unique QR code to its clothing items and accessories. Each piece is made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic bottles.

These QR codes direct customers to the exact clothing item’s page, where they can get to know the person who made the unique Oceanness apparel.

The company also provides information on the different collection points where it pulls ocean-bound plastics, which they use to create their products.

QR codes: Paving the way for a sustainable future

Implementing sustainable practices is key to achieving effective waste management, and QR code technology is a valuable tool in initiating and sustaining them within your household, business, or community. 

A single recycling QR code can offer individuals and businesses information about proper waste segregation, recycling guidelines, policies, and the location of recycling centers in their area. 

This access to waste management processes reduces recycling confusion, empowering individuals and businesses to adopt responsible waste disposal practices and efforts.

You can also begin your sustainability journey using QR codes. Visit QR TIGER today and create a QR code for your recycling initiative needs through the best QR code generator online.

People also ask

What is the recycling code?

The recycling code is a system of numbers and/or symbols that you can see on plastic products to identify the type of plastic resin used in their manufacturing. 

The numbers typically range from 1 to 7 and are enclosed by a triangular arrowed symbol, each number representing a specific type of plastic resin.

What is the purpose of recycling codes on plastics?

The recycling symbols on plastics assist consumers and waste management companies in sorting and recycling plastics, indicating the material composition and providing guidance for proper recycling processes.

Brands using QR codes

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