The universal recycling symbol is an internationally recognized symbol used to designate recyclable materials. It is composed of three chasing arrows that form a Mobius strip or unending loop.
In 1969 and early 1970, worldwide attention to environmental issues culminated in the first Earth Day. In response, then Chicago-based Container Corporation of America, a large producer of recycled paperboard which is now part of Smurfit-Stone Container, sponsored a contest for art and design students at high schools and colleges across the country to raise awareness of environmental issues. It was won by Gary Anderson, a 23-year-old college student at the University of Southern California, whose entry was the image now known as the universal recycling symbol.
The symbol is in the public domain, and is not a trademark. The Container Corporation of America originally applied for a trademark on the design, but the application was challenged, and the corporation decided to abandon the claim. As such, any one may use the recycling symbol, royalty free.