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Defining 'recyclable'

Might manufacturers expect a uniform standard on how many people must be able to recycle a material before it can be labeled recyclable?
FILED IN:  Sustainability  > Strategy

Current and proposed requirements are far from clear cut. The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) existing environmental marketing guidelines require a "substantial majority" of communities to have access to recycling for products making that claim. FTC currently is reviewing its guidelines with the results expected in summer or early fall. The Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) is asking FTC to change the standard to permit the use of the claim when "a significant number of communities" have existing recycling programs. In December '95 the attorneys general in 11 states worked out an agreement with the American Plastics Council that recycling must be available to a "significant percentage of communities or be available to a significant percentage of the population" in order to make a recyclability claim. On the international front the International Standards Organization (ISO) which sets voluntary standards is considering an environmental labeling standard that permits a recyclable claim if collection facilities are available to a "reasonable portion of the population."

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