Does the recycling symbol on consumer products mean the item is made from recycled materials or that the item can be recycled?
The recycling logo does not necessarily mean either. The use of the recycling logo is not regulated by law. If the label only says recycle or recyclable it may contain no recycled content. It also may not be possible to recycle that item in your area.
To ensure you are buying a product made from recycled materials check the label for words that indicate the product is made from recycled materials. When buying materials, look for labels that indicate the highest percentage of post consumer recycled content.
False: Recycled products are inferior in quality
Recycled products have the same quality, reliability, and dependability. A 1996 survey by the Buy Recycled Business Alliance asked hundreds of corporate purchasing agents about their satisfaction with recycled content products. The survey results showed that 97% of respondents were pleased with the performance of recycled content products.
False: Recycled products are hard to find
Thousands of products are now made with some recycled content. All steel and most glass and aluminum made in the United States has recycled content. Many paper products, including white printer paper have recycled content. Clothes, purses, tool boxes, and many other items are also made with recycled materials.
False: Recycled paper gets stuck in copiers and printers
Technological advances have overcome quality issues, while increased consumer demand is resulting wider variety and availabilty, and lower prices. Recycled content papers now share the same printing and performance characteristics as their virgin equivalent. Recycled paper is available in a wide range of colors, weights, and styles, including the brightest whites. They also offer the same level of runnability and high quality imaging on copiers, and laser and ink jet printers.
This used to be the case for some materials, but now many recycled products are priced competitively with those made from virgin materials and in some cases are even cheaper. Demand has lowered prices, and if you continue to purchase products made with recycled materials, this trend will continue.