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Close the Recycling Loop and Buy Recycled

As most of you are probably aware, recycling activity has made tremendous strides in the last few years. In fact, every community in New York State is now required to have a recycling program in place. All New Yorkers should be proud of the changes that they have made in their life-styles in order to do their part to protect the environment and conserve natural resources.

However, to ensure that the materials that we separate for recycling actually get recycled-and to help pay for the recycling process-we must find ways to make sure that there is a continuing demand for products made with recycled materials. The easiest way that shoppers can help sustain such demand is to simply buy recycled products whenever they can. "Close the recycling loop" and BUY RECYCLED.

Products Made From Recycled Materials

More and more products and packaging are being produced with recycled content. The following are just a few such items that you should look for in the supermarket:

  • Paper napkins, paper towels, and toilet tissue.
  • Writing papers, greeting cards and envelopes.
  • Paperboard packaging (such as cereal, cake and cracker boxes).
  • Plastic and paper bags.
  • Glass containers.
  • Aluminum and steel containers.

You will however, have to look for the recycled content information on the products that you consider buying to make sure that they are produced with recycled materials.

The Difference Between "Pre-Consumer" and "Post-Consumer" Materials

Many products also list information on the percentages of pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled content. To define those terms simply:

  • Post-consumer materials include the materials from products that you buy, use and then separate for recycling.
  • Pre-consumer materials are materials and by-products or scrap from industry that have not yet reached a consumer or business for their use. These materials are reused within the same manufacturing process.

To make the most of your community recycling efforts, look for products with a high post-consumer recycled content.

Bureau of Waste Reduction and Recycling
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-7253
(518) 402-8706

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    Division of Materials Management
    Bureau of Waste Reduction and Recycling
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-7253
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