ISRI Design for Recycling®

Begun more than 30 years ago, ISRI’s Design for Recycling® initiative encourages manufacturers to account for the end of a product’s useful life, by considering what else it can become, during the design-stage of a product’s development.

Designing with recycling in mind means recognizing that a product’s usefulness does not end because the original intent for the product has run its course. By designing with this methodology, manufacturers use recycling and repurposing to plan out the product’s new lifecycle, which reduces waste and reliance on natural resources.

Products designed with recyclability in mind:

To be eligible for ISRI’s Design for Recycling® Award, a company’s product(s) must be designed/redesigned and manufactured to:

  • Contain the maximum amount of materials that are recyclable.
  • Be easily recycled through current or newly designed recycling processes and procedures.
  • Be cost effective to recycle, whereby the cost to recycle does not exceed the value of its recycled materials.
  • Be free of hazardous materials that are not recyclable or impede the recycling process.
  • Minimizes the time and cost involved to recycle the product.
  • Reduce the use of raw materials by including recycled materials and/or components.
  • Have a net gain in the overall recyclability of the product while reducing the overall negative impact on the environment.

Design for Recycling® Applied

The following are examples of products made using the Design for Recycling concept. Each is a winner of ISRI’s prestigious Design for Recycling Award:

EnviroSense® PaperBlister™ Packaging
Sonoco Alloyd

Made entirely from renewable resources, the mono-material EnviroSense® PaperBlister™ package is plastic-free and completely recyclable in the paper stream. EnviroSense PaperBlister packaging offers a recyclable alternative to traditional retail plastic-to-card blister packaging – all without the need for costly new sealing equipment lines. 

Cascade Engineering

EcoCart™ is the first cart ever manufactured with residential bulky rigid plastics from curbside collection, like. It delivers the same durability, shape, and performance and is recyclable.

Lexmark Toner Cartridges

Lexmark Toner Cartridges are designed with recyclability in mind by planning cartridge design and selecting materials that work well in Lexmark's recycling process for reusing and recycling all parts at Lexmark.

Nestlé® Pure Life® 700ml Bottle
Nestlé Waters North America

The Nestlé® Pure Life® bottle is made entirely from recycled content and features a state-of-the-art, pressure-sensitive label that releases easily during the wash stage of the recycling process.

The Latitude 5590 Laptop and 5285 2-in-1
Dell, Inc.

The Latitude 5590 contains a removable battery, is free of harmful substance such as mercury, eliminated the use of glues and adhesives, contains a modular design making easier to access and disassemble, and uses standardized fasteners. The Latitude 5285 2-in-1 uses gold recycled from used electronic products.

EcoStrate SFS, Inc.

EcoStrate manufactures via its proprietary technology platform composite plastic products from 100% post-consumer, high-polymer content recyclable materials that are difficult to recycle. EcoStrate’s products include traffic signs, indoor/ADA signs, flooring, and other surface materials.

2016 Curved Full HD TV (UN55K6250)

The 2016 Curved Full HD TV incorporates easy-to-disassemble, snap-together parts that are made with minimal chemical content. The snap closures eliminate the use of many screws, making it easier for recyclers to disassemble.

LG Electronics, Inc.

The 4K ULTRA HD OLED and LED TVs include mercury-free display panels; use of recycled and recyclable plastics; inclusion of PVC and BFR-free components; small and lighter packaging; ease of disassembly and label/seal separation; and standardized materials and connection types.    

Design for Recycling® Award

DfR-Award-2016_smThe Design for Recycling® Award is ISRI’s highest award that is offered annually to the most outstanding contribution to products designed with recycling in mind.  It recognizes the proactive steps made by manufacturers who have actively incorporated Design for Recycling® principles into their products and manufacturing processes.

Deadline for submissions is February 12, 2024.

Award Milestones for ISRI2024 Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas.

November 13, 2023


Initial Call for Entries.

February 12, 2024


Deadline for submissions.

March 1, 2024


Request for additional information deadline.

March 4 - 8, 2024


Application review.

March 11, 2024


Notification to applicants.

April 18, 2024


Traditional award date for ISRI2024 Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas.

Previous Award Winners



No award presented.


Sonoco Alloyd


Cascade Engineering


Nestlé Waters North America

Dell Inc.

EcoStrate SFS Inc.

Samsung Electronics

LG Electronics, Inc.


Dell Inc.

No award presented.

Cascades Fine Papers Group

Wind Simplicity

Coca-Cola Recycling Company

The Herman Miller Company

No award presented.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Hewlett Packard

Have Questions?

David L. Wagger, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist
Director of Environmental Management
(202) 662-8533