While you purchase a product that touts its recycled content material, you might even see phrases like “30% pre-consumer recycled content material” or “50% PCR” or “comprised of post-industrial recycled content material.” What do all these phrases imply? Let’s focus on the distinction between pre-consumer, post-industrial and post-consumer recycled.
The distinction in these phrases principally comes down to 1 issue: The place does the recycled materials come from? Some supplies have really been used out on the planet no less than as soon as after which are returned to be processed into one thing new. That’s the kind of recycling most of us consider. However producers additionally recycle materials from their very own services that has by no means made it to the patron, like scraps of plastic left over after merchandise have been lower, printed supplies that didn’t make it previous high quality management, and so forth.
Pre-Client and Put up-Industrial Recycled
These two phrases primarily imply the identical factor. It’s the recycling of content material that by no means made it to the patron but, like scraps left over from the manufacturing course of, merchandise with defects that may’t be despatched to market, and so on. Seeing “30% Pre Client Recycled” or “Put up-Industrial Recycled” on a product doesn’t imply a lot as a result of it’s materials that almost all producers could be reusing anyway as a result of it’s clear, recovered from their very own facility and requires little effort on their half.
Put up-Client Recycled (PCR)
That is materials recycled from merchandise which were out within the market and returned to a producer to course of and provides it a second life, just like the gadgets you set in your curbside bin. That is the kind of recycled content material that’s the most significant, because it includes reclaiming used supplies, maintaining them out of the landfill, giving them a brand new life. This protects power, reduces greenhouse gasoline emissions and reduces the necessity to harvest and mine new uncooked supplies.
When shopping for merchandise, search for the time period post-consumer, or the acronyms PCR or PCW (post-consumer waste). The upper the proportion of PCR/PCW supplies utilized in an merchandise, the higher.
Word: Remember that 100% post-consumer recycled content material might not be achievable for all merchandise, because the strategy of re-melting and recycling supplies like plastic modifications its flexibility and energy.