How to Draw the Recycle Symbol

Written by melissa busse
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How to Draw the Recycle Symbol
The recycle symbol that many people are familiar with was created more than 40 years ago. (Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

In 1970, the Container Corporation of America held a competition among high school and college students across the United States to develop a new design that would be used as the official symbol to mark recyclable containers. Gary Anderson, a senior at the University of Southern California, won the competition with his submission of the recycling symbol that many people can easily identify today. His design, which features three arrows that chase each other in she shape of a rounded triangle, can be found on many types of recyclable containers.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Drawing paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Draw an equilateral triangle onto your paper. Then, draw a short, straight line horizontally across the top of your triangle, cutting the point off of the top of the triangle.

  2. 2

    Turn the paper until another point of the triangle is pointing upward. Draw a straight line horizontally across the top of the triangle, cutting this second point off of the top of the triangle.

  3. 3

    Turn the paper again, until the third point of the triangle is pointing upward. Draw a straight line horizontally across the top of the triangle, cutting off this third point. The lines you have drawn will become the bases of the arrows that form the recycle symbol. Erase the points of the triangle that extend above these drawn lines.

  4. 4

    Turn the paper to its original position. Draw a straight line that stretches from just left of the centre of the top, horizontal line to just right of centre of the bottom right, diagonal line. Then, turn your paper so that the bottom right, diagonal line is on top of the page.

  5. 5

    Draw a line that stretches from just left of the centre of the top, horizontal line, to just right of the centre of the bottom right, diagonal line. Turn your paper again, so that the bottom right, diagonal line is on the top of the page.

  6. 6

    Repeat the last step once more. Then, turn your paper to the original position.

  7. 7

    Draw a line that intersects the centres of each of the lines drawn in the last three steps. At the top of each bisected line, draw the shape of the top of an arrow that has points that extend slightly beyond the perimeters of the lines drawn in the last three steps.

  8. 8

    Erase the unneeded lines from between the slanted tops of the arrows and the bottoms of the neighbouring arrows. Then, erase the unneeded lines of the top sections of the arrows, in order to help the arrows appear as if their tops are turning around the bottoms.

Tips and warnings

  • Because the steps to draw a recycle symbol can be confusing, use the symbols in the picture as a reference while you are drawing.

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