Key Products, Purchasing Information, Specifications

Most recycled content products are just as good as their virgin counterparts, but as with any purchase, it is wise to declare what characteristics you are looking for and verify that the product you are considering will meet those specifications. The EPA has done much of the legwork required to help you decide what specifications are important to include for recycled product purchasing. Their Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) have narrowed down the percentages of recycled content that still offer the same performance characteristics and other quality standards. These standards help manufacturers and purchasers alike, maintaining quality while lowering costs as much as possible.

The following section offers suggestions for key specifications related each general product area, as well as links to additional information if you would like to dig deeper. We recommend including a reasonable minimum standard for recycled content but not narrowing the specification down to an exact content percentage to allow for as much competition as possible. The minimum standard can often be expressed as “meets or exceeds federal CPG guidelines.” Be sure to review samples and perform due diligence research to make sure the product will meet quality standards.



Back to Recycling Means Business


This toolkit was developed with support from the EPA Sustainable Materials Management Program.

Comments and Feedback Welcome.  E-mail Jan Hardin at