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What is “post-consumer waste?”

If you look at certain bags, cartons, or paper stock, you may notice a small image or message regarding its recycled content, sometimes referenced as a percentage of Post-consumer materials. Curious as to what this label meant, we decided to do some research.

Post-consumer means that the product you’re using is garbage or waste “that’s been used by a consumer, disposed of, and diverted from landfills.” Simply put, it’s made of recycled material. This is often items such as paper or plastic bottles.

Pre-consumer waste is different, but you may also see this label on a product. This is waste that has never been sold to consumers. This could be scrap such as paper clippings from factories or defective aluminum cans that are reused to create more products. The experts suggest this isn’t a recycled product in the traditional sense, but it still benefits the environment.

For consumers who are interested in going greener, there are many ways to achieve this goal:

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws and Arbitration Program, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry.

 

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