Friday, February 10, 2017

Are Manufacturers Required to Use Recyclable Materials or Packaging?

Some more progressive parts of the United States, particularly on the west coast, have laws mandating that they use a certain percentage of recycled materials in the production of new items.

According to and, the top superstar recycling cities in the US are:

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Portland, OR
  • San Diego, CA

California has an aggressive outlook and philosophy on recycling. So much so, that according to, here are 2 of California’s statewide packaging-related laws:

1. “California manufacturers of new glass containers must use at least 35 percent post-consumer recycled glass, or 25 percent if the cullet is mixed-color. Likewise, fiberglass insulation manufacturers must use at least 30% post-consumer glass.

2. As of July 1, 2012, all businesses and public entities that generate four or more cubic yards of solid waste per week and multifamily residential dwellings that have five or more units are required to recycle. Each jurisdiction is required to implement a mandatory commercial recycling program with education, outreach, and monitoring components.”

Requiring companies and manufacturers to use either recycled materials or recyclable packaging is difficult without laws and regulations mandating such practices.

There are, however, Environmentally Preferred Products (EPP), which are products and “and services have a lesser or reduced negative effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. This comparison applies to raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, use, reuse, operation, maintenance, and disposal. Environmentally preferable products possess more than one environmentally friendly attribute.”

Companies are actually recognized and praised for their use of not only recycled materials, but also recyclable packaging and natural products. Those leading the charge are most notable for a high percentage of post consumer waste in their product manufacture, a high percentage of recyclable packaging materials, and even how biodegradable their products are.

Companies have been known to use “green”, sustainable, biodegradable, and even edible packaging. “Companies are also choosing to buy biodegradable plastic made from corn and sugar cane, which are not only biodegradable, but recent studies now show they give off far less greenhouse gas emissions.

Individuals that choose to go green and be good environmental stewards make an impact on the environment, but when companies get onboard with green policies the impact is tremendous.”

Although federal mandates are not in place to require manufacturers to use recyclable materials in packaging, progressive measures are being taken and incentives have been put in place to encourage them to use as much post-consumer materials as possible.

For more information on recyclable items and materials visit

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