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Recycling is an effective way to conserve our resources, minimize waste and protect our environment. Waste paper is one of the most significant sources of landfill methane, a greenhouse gas scientifically proven to cause global warming. Recycling prevents landfilling and can help to reduce greenhouse gas emission levels.
Recycled papers may contain either or both pre-consumer and post-consumer material. While there is no official definition of pre-consumer material, it is often defined as waste generated by industrial manufacturing processes which would otherwise have been landfilled. Pre-consumer materials have not met their intended end-use by a consumer and include mill converting scraps, pre-consumer deinking material, and pulp substitutes. Post-consumer material is defined as waste paper, such as office paper and newspaper that has served its intended purpose and has been separated from solid waste to be recycled into new paper.
The recycled symbol, also known as the chasing-arrows logo or the mobius loop, is visible on many consumer products, including paper.
American Forest & Paper Association Recycled Symbol Guidelines:
Used alone, the recycling symbol communicates that a paper product or package is both recyclable and made entirely from recycled material. As few products or packages can make both claims, use of the symbol alone is limited. In most cases, the recycling symbol must be accompanied by qualifying statements to clarify percentage of recycled fiber. For more information go to: www.afandpa.org
Federal Trade Commission Recycled Symbol Guidelines:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seeks to prevent deception and unfairness in the marketplace. The FTC looks at all advertising from the consumer’s perspective: what message does the advertising actually convey to consumers? The FTC issued its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, commonly known as the Green Guides, to help marketers avoid making environmental claims that are unfair or deceptive. Section 260.7 (e) of the Green Guides focuses on recycled content claims and advises the following:*
A recycled content claim may be made only for materials that have been recovered or otherwise diverted from the solid waste stream, either during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer), or after consumer use (post-consumer).
When making a recycled content claim, distinctions may be made between pre-consumer and post-consumer content. These claims must be substantiated.
For product that are only partially made of recycled material, claims should be qualified to avoid consumer deception as to the amount of recycled content in the finished product.
Unqualified claims of recycled content may only be made if the entire product is made from recycled material.
Virgin wood fiber paper is manufactured without the use of any recycled or alternative fibers.
Post Consumer Waste material is a material or finished product that has served its intended use and has been discarded for disposal or recovery having completed its life as a consumer item.
To earn FSC certification, a product made with pulp or paper must pass through a complete “chain of custody” (CoC) from an FSC–certified forest to an FSC–certified pulp manufacturer to and FSC–certified papermaker, merchant, and printer.
Sustainable forestry provides a way of using forest products to meet people’s ever increasing needs without degrading forest ecosystems. These practices ensure that forestlands retain their economic value for the long term.
Green-e is the nation’s leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions in the retail market. It has three certification programs: Green-e Climate is a voluntary certification program launched in 2007 that sets consumer-protection and environmental-integrity standards for greenhouse gas(GHG) emission reductions sold in the voluntary market. Green-e Energy is the nation’s leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy. Green-e Marketplace is a program that allows companies to display the logo when they have purchased a qualifying amount of renewable energy and passed our verification standards.
Every time you switch on your lights, or use any electrical device, natural resources are consumed to generate the electricity that you use. A staggering 98 percent of electricity in the United States comes from non-renewable resources such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. Using non-renewable resources to create electricity produces more harmful emissions linked to global warming than any other human activity. The remaining two percent of U.S. electricity generated from clean, renewable resources—such as wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro-electric and biomass—produce dramatically less air pollution and have significantly smaller environmental impacts.