Friday, August 14, 2009

Post Consumer Waste: A growing trend

With all that recycling (also called recycled post consumer waste, or PCW) we're doing, it's got to go somewhere ... and hopefully somewhere useful. In fact, more and more products are popping up with PCW content listed.

I was in Walmart yesterday and saw a whole section devoted to 100% post consumer waste cards -- "100% post consumer waste" was the headlining sign to get your attention. They could have
chosen 100% recycled, but instead they are using PCW. Why?

Post consumer waste is better than simply saying recycled. Recycled can come from two sources: 1) recycled waste from consumers who have already used the material once (PCW) and 2) pre consumer waste, which is the virgin material leftover on the factory floor and is picked up and "recycled" into products. PCW is best because you are not using up virgin material -- you are truly reusing material.

So, when you see that a product is made from recycled materials, see if they are also labeling the amount of PCW -- the closer to 100% PCW the better.

Other recent examples of companies promoting and supplying PCW product options ...

Barnes and Noble just announced they will be carrying 100% PCW planners -- a sought-after back-to-school item.

Staples has long been a supporter of PCW products, along with inventories of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and Rainforest Alliance endorsed paper products.

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