SCS Global Services Recycled Content

Expert Advice -

This certification ensures that a given product or its packaging has some type of recycled content in its manufacture. Recycled content, according to the SCS, is a product that has either pre-consumer or post-consumer materials in it.

While recycled content in a product is more sustainable than a product using primary resources, there is an important difference between pre-consumer and post-consumer content.

Pre-consumer material is any material diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process. Excluded is reutilization of materials such as rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it. Examples of pre-consumer content are sawdust, bagasse, walnut shells and print overruns.

Post-consumer material is any material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product which can no longer be used for its intended purpose. This includes return of materials from the distribution chain. Examples of this category include construction and demolition debris, materials collected through curbside and drop-off recycling programs, broken pallets (if from a pallet refurbishing company, not a pallet making company), discarded products (e.g. furniture, cabinetry and decking) and urban maintenance waste (leaves, grass clippings, tree trimmings, etc).

Items that use recycled content ensure less waste goes into local landfills and extends the life of an original product. Great examples of recycled content office products are 100% post-consumer waste papers made from recycled wood pulp, as well as bagasse plates made from pre-consumer waste agricultural sugar fibers.

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