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Colin Gilboy
Senior Member
Username: Colin

Post Number: 82
Registered: 05-2000
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 02:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

By the San Francisco CSI Green Committee

Most of us think we know what defines recycled content, but what you may not know is that single-attribute claims, such as "recycled content," are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and defined concisely by many other organizations. Architect, designer, specifier, general contractor, or owner should have a working definition of such terms as well.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), based in Emeryville, California, has established a certification program to create standards and benchmarks for environmental claims, environmental preferability, life cycle assessment, and forest conservation programs (FSC).

For example, within Environmental Claims, SCS has a scientific program for independently verifying the accuracy of environmental claims on products. When it comes to recycled content, you see claims like 50% recycled content, when it should be stated as either XX% post-consumer, XX% post-industrial, or XX% post consumer and XX% post industrial recycled content if it contains both.

Here are SCS's definitions:

Post-Consumer Waste
This is a product or package, which has been discarded by an individual, commercial enterprise, or other public or private entity after having fulfilled its intended application or use. Easy examples would be pop bottles, plastic bottles, and waste newsprint - lots of what goes in your recycling bin.

Post Industrial Waste
A material, which has been generated as a by-product of a given process, which has properties significantly different from those of the original material, and therefore in its current form, cannot be recycled back through the same process. Easy examples would be taking carpet mill floor waste and producing another type of flooring product, or any different product

In contrast, Industrial Scrap is not considered to be recycled.
Industrial scrap is a material, which has been generated as a by-product of a given process, which has properties allowing it to be recycled back through the same process. Industrial scrap, referred to often as floor scrap by SCS, FTC or many other organizations. Why? Because the waste material, like scrap paper in paper manufacturing, is routinely swept up and put back into the same manufacturing processing.

For projects registered for the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, recycled content materials specified according to these definitions contribute to LEED Credits MR 4.1 and 4.2, Recycled Content.

For more information on recycled content definitions and environmental standards, go to the Federal Trade Commission guidelines in 16 CRF, Part 260, Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/grnrule/guides980427.htm, or Scientific Certification Systems at www.scscertified.com

Next month look for information on the newest trend -
beyond recycled to environmentally preferable.
David J. Wyatt
Senior Member
Username: dave_wyatt_csi_cca_ccca

Post Number: 8
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2005 - 01:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Colin: To supplement to the good information you provided here, I recommend a Federal Trade Commission publication titled "Part 260 - Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims." It is a free download at www.ftc.gov.
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 124
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2005 - 02:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

You can find this guide at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/grnrule/guides980427.htm

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