The SPC members using the label came from the core group of companies that drove its development. The non-SPC members have gotten on board, Bedarf said, either from hearing her speak about the label at conferences or finding out about it through news items or the SPC's social media outreach.
Governments including New York City's Department of Sanitation, the state of North Carolina and StopWaste.org of Alameda County, Calif., have also endorsed the label.
"Local governments aren't really financially equipped to deal with a lot of the waste they get," Bedarf said, "so they're focused on having clean steams of waste."
When non-recyclable materials get tossed in with recyclables, they can contaminate other wastes or, in the case of plastic bags, muck up machinery at recycling centers.
By directing consumers to "check locally" on goods that may not be recycled everywhere, the SPC is hoping to help people learn more about their own local recycling steams and keep unwanted wastes out. In addition to endorsing the label, New York City is adding information to its recycling website explaining what "check locally" means for materials people in the city might be tossing.
Moving from soft to full launch
The SPC is still in the "soft launch" phase of the label and will be taking consumer feedback and input from companies, seeking other products to test the label and developing a business model.
One issue already raised is the fact that the label is based on U.S. recycling data, yet companies may use it on products sold in other countries.
"Do we add 'U.S. only' or something about it being a U.S. recovery label?" Bedarf said.
Once the SPC is ready for a full launch of the label, it also plans to develop a long-term business model to support its use, since right now the SPC is covering administrative, research, legal and data expenses with its member dues.
"That may be the case for years to come," Bedarf said, "or it might not be."