To protect our environment and our own health, it is important to consider how a product is made and what it’s made with. Buying “postconsumer” recycled content products supports our local curbside and drop-off recycling programs by creating markets for collected materials. Beyond recycled content, it is also important to look at other environmental attributes of the product, such as energy consumption, toxicity, air and water pollution impact, materials efficiency (such as packaging), and the disposal impact at the end of its useful life.
A number of local cities have adopted Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policies. For example:
Office and printing paper — we all use it. But nine times out of ten, this paper isn’t made with recycled materials. By buying recycled paper, you not only save natural resources but you help support paper recycling markets.
For more information about recycled content and about choosing environmentally preferable paper, visit Conservatree — a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information about environmentally sound paper and helping market development.
The Recycled Content Product Directory lists thousands of products containing recycled materials as well as information about the manufacturers, distributors and re-processors of these products.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), or Product Stewardship, means those who design, produce, and sell a product take responsibility for all stages of the product’s life cycle, including after the product has served its original purpose.
For more information, see California Product Stewardship Council’s Greening the Bottom Line brochure (PDF: 1.08 MB)).
The California Product Stewardship Council’s mission is to shift California’s product waste management system from one focused on government-funded and rate payer-financed waste diversion to one that relies on producer responsibility in order to reduce public costs and drive improvements in product design that promote environmental sustainability.