California law mandates the use of a specified amount of recycled-content newsprint (RCN) by printers and publishers located in California, and CalRecycle implements the program to encourage and track the use of RCN (Public Resources Code Section 42750 et al). For the program:
- RCN is defined as newsprint comprised of at least 40 percent postconsumer waste paper fiber by weight.
- At least 50 percent of the newsprint used for printing and publishing by each commercial printer and publisher (“consumers”) in California must be RCN.
- Consumers must report annually to CalRecycle (by March 1st) the total amount of RCN and the total amount of other newsprint used. See the Newsprint Consumer Certification, form 430 (PDF | Word).
- Manufacturers must annually report (by March 1st) the amounts of deinked pulp and postconsumer waste paper received and/or produced at their mill(s), and the amount of RCN produced and shipped for use in California. See Sample Certification Letter.
- CalRecycle must periodically review and update RCN Quality Standards. View the most recent ones here:
- CalRecycle maintains a list of RCN suppliers.
State agencies’ paper purchases must also comply with the State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign but RCN that complies with the RCN program satisfies the minimum content requirements of the Campaign (Public Contract Code Section 12153 et al).
- Updated Recycled Content Newsprint Suppliers List now available.
Annual Compliance Reports
CalRecycle publishes an annual report summarizing the results of the newsprint certifications received.
Frequently asked questions about the program requirements.