Specifications need to be specific! So, what is Recycled Material Content?

November 9th, 2011

If you ask for the use of recycled material in a specification, it does not mean you are getting post consumer content and may run counter to your company’s CSR goals.

When developing a specification for a product you are planning to source such as copy paper, asking for post consumer content is a great opportunity to support your company’s support of a more environmentally friendly workplace. However you need to be specific (that’s why they call it a specification) because post consumer content while being a recycled material is not necessarily the only type of  recycled material that could be used and as a result may confuse you suppliers. So be specific.
Recycled material content is the portion of a product made with recycled materials consisting of pre-consumer materials (waste), post-consumer materials (waste), or both. This figure is important because the term recycled does not mean that a product contains 100% recovered materials. Nor does it mean that a product contains solely post-consumer materials. Recycled means that a product contains some recovered materials. Recycled content can vary from small percentages of pre-consumer to 100% post-consumer materials.

The easiest route to take when trying to develop user friendly detailed specifications is to have your sourcing partner do it for you or at least review what you have put together. If you’d like to view a detailed product specification library, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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