Buy Recycled to Close the Loop
Here are some items that are manufactured from with recycled materials. “Recycled content” is good, but make sure to look especially for “post-consumer recycled content” items, which are made from the materials that you recycle curbside!
- Aluminum & other metals: appliances, cans, building materials, furniture
- Glass: bottles, kitchenware, mosaics, tile flooring, fiberglass insulation
- Laser & inkjet cartridges: refurbished cartridges
- Paint: recycled content latex paint
- Paper: office & printing paper, chipboard, cardboard, paper towels, toilet paper & tissues, insulation, hydraulic mulch (usually mixed with seed for highways), absorbents
- PET plastics (clear bottles): bottles, tote bags, t-shirts, office products, fleece jackets, blankets, athletic wear, carpet, automotive parts
- Plastics: poly-wood (decking), playground equipment, picnic tables, planter boxers, office materials, landscaping materials (e.g. lawn edging, fence posts, garden hose), bins & buckets, street barricades & cones, carpet, paint
- Textiles: canvas bags, t-shirts, polo shirts, absorbents
- Tires: flooring, floor mats, walking paths, shoes, mouse pads, roofing, soil enhancements, tires (2%-6%), arena footing
- Used cooking oil: biodiesel fuel
- Used motor oil: re-refined motor oil
- Yard trimmings, food scraps & wood: animal feed, compost & other soil amendments, mulch, wood chips, absorbents, renewable fuel
Benefits of Buying Recycled:
- Reduce the extraction of virgin materials
- Save energy; decreasing the need for coal, oil or other nonrenewable energy resources
- Help fight climate change by cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions
- Use less transportation – manufacturing facilities are often near the source of materials
- Create new enterprises, markets & jobs
- Reduce solid waste and keep useful materials out of our rapidly filling landfills
- Reduce air and water pollutants; manufacturing with recycled products is a much cleaner process
- Create a greater demand for manufacturers to use recycled materials
- Demonstrate a commitment to the environment and a sustainable economy
- Help California reach its mandated recycling goals of 75% and reach toward Zero Waste
Recycled Product Databases, Directories, and Catalogs
- Find recycled content paper towels, toilet paper, etc. at the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Shopper’s Guide to Home Tissue Products.
- CalRecycle – Search the State of California’s recycled-content product database to find products, vendors, etc.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program that encourages and assists Executive agencies in the purchasing of environmentally preferable products and services. Also, check out their Greener Products database!
- Check out a great Environmentally Preferable Purchasing guide from stopwaste.org.
- Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) provides a database of products that meet FSC standards.
- The U.S. General Services Administration has a recycled products guide. Go to the main website www.gsa.gov and search for “recycled products.”
- The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has a comprehensive online guide to greening your small business.
- Green Home sells a wide array of environmentally friendly products online.
- Green Seal provides updates on available recycled products.
- RecycleStore – an online catalog of recycled-content products from CalRecycle.