Recycled vs. Reclaimed
A recycled content claim may be made only for materials that have been recovered or otherwise diverted from the waste stream, either during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer), or after consumer use (post-consumer). Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, 16 CFR 260.7 (e) and ISO 14021 –Environmental labels.
Postconsumer material is defined as waste material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product, which can no longer be used for its intended purpose.
Preconsumer material is defined as material diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process. Reutilization of materials (i.e.,rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it) is excluded.
Example 1: A manufacturer routinely collects spilled raw material and scraps left over from the original manufacturing process. After a minimal amount of reprocessing, the manufacturer combines the spills and scraps with virgin material for use in further production of the same product. A claim that the product contains recycled material is deceptive since the spills and scraps to which the claim refers are normally reused by industry within the original manufacturing process, and would not normally have entered the waste stream.