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Packaging symbols for protecting contents in transit and storage

The following packaging symbols are commonly used to convey information about how the contents of the package or box should be protected. For example, they can indicate whether the contents are fragile, prone to moisture, which way up they should be stored and so on.

Please also note that it is possible to use multiple symbols together to highlight specific points (such as the Fragile and Handle with Care symbols) or to convey a range of different instructions.


handle with care logo Handle with Care

A very common packaging symbol, two hands surrounding a box tells the user / handler that the carton should be handled with care.

  keep dry logo Keep Dry

The umbrella with rain drop s symbol on packaging indicates that the box (and contents) should be kept dry. A variation showing just the umbrella can also be used.

fragile logo Fragile

A widely used and recognised symbol that indicates the contents are fragile (not they are necessarily made from glass). Is sometimes accompanies by the word “Fragile”.

  this way up logo This Way Up

A horizontal line with two vertical arrows pointing upwards indicates which way up the packaging should be kept during storage / transit.

stacking height logo Stacking Height

Two bars with a number above provides information on how high the boxes can be safely stacked. The number can therefore vary depending on the nature of the packaging and it’s contents.

  do not forklift logo Do Not Forklift

An image of a forklift alongside a cross or with a strike-through indicates the packaging / contents are not suitable to be moved using a forklift.

use sack truck logo Use Pallet Truck

The symbol of a sack/pallet truck with boxes stacked on it indicates to the user that this form of assistance should be used to move multiple items at a time.

  do not use pallet truck Do Not Use Pallet Truck

This symbol indicates that a sack truck should not be used to transport this packaging and its’ contents (as doing so may damage the items within).

stacking height logo Kitemark

Resembling a kite, the “Kitemark” logo is a trademark of the British Standards Institute, and indicates that the product within the packaging meets specific standards. Please note permission for its use is required.

  CE logo CE Mark

The CE logo is used to declare that the product within the packaging meets the applicable requirements of specific EC directives, this only applies to specific product types. Please note that permission for use is required.

mobs loop logo Mobius Loop

Perhaps the most widely used/recognised of the recycling symbols, the Mobius loop indicates that the packaging/product is recyclable. Can also be displayed with a percentage symbol in the middle of the icon.

  FSC logo FSC

FSC is an acronym of the Forest Stewardship Council, with the logo identifying packaging products that contain wood from well managed forests. Use of this symbol requires permission / accreditation.

green dot logo Green Dot

The Green Dot does not mean that the packaging is recycled or recyclable. It shows that the
producer has financially contributed to the recovery and recycling of packaging.

  tidyman logo Tidy-man

The tidy-man symbol – produced by the “keep Britain Tidy” campaign – doesn’t specifically relate to recycling, but acts a s a reminder to dispose of the packaging correctly (i.e. not litter).