Ask G

Ask G: Pre- or post-consumer recycled paper?

A difference to take note of when purchasing recycled paper

What does it mean when paper is "post-consumer" recycled?

Douglas, Vic

Bin with scrunched paper

Credit: iStockphoto

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Recycled content products often state a percentage of 'pre-consumer recycled content' or 'post-consumer recycled content'.

Pre-consumer recycled materials are mainly printer offcuts, production overruns and other production waste.

The original fibre may or may not have been virgin fibre and may or may not have come from sustainable sources.

Post-consumer recycled materials are those that have previously been sold and used in homes and offices before being collected for recycling and are therefore a more genuinely recycled product.

Favour recycled products made predominantly with post-consumer content.