Buy Recycled

Do the next “R”! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot (compost), and ReBuy (buy recycled). Postconsumer recycled material is derived from products that were purchased, used, and then recycled by a consumer. This recovered material (e.g. paper or plastic water bottles) becomes feedstock for new products. Buying postconsumer recycled-content products (RCP) reduces pollution, saves landfill space, creates California jobs, and supports small businesses. Buying recycled also:

  • Closes the recycling loop and conserves resources.
  • Reduces raw material extraction and preserves wildlife habitat.
  • Reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Helps create market demand and competition.

Searching for Postconsumer Recycled-Content Products?

  • The Recycled-Content Product Manufacturers (RCPM) directory includes innovative recycled-content product manufacturers in California. These California-based manufacturers use recycled materials as feedstock to make new products. Those interested in searching the directory may include:
    • Consumers–look for “green” products made in California.
    • Procurement and contracting officers–find manufacturers that may be able to fulfill purchasing requirements.
    • Manufacturers–find potential business partners or additional feedstock sources.
    • Retailers–find potential wholesale agreements to stock your storefront.
  • RecycleStore is a CalRecycle resource you can use to search for highlighted California manufactures of recycled products located in designated California Recycling Market Development Zones throughout the state.

See more Buy Recycled resources for a more detailed list of tools and reference from CalRecycle and other sources.

State Programs

California’s Buy Recycled programs promote the State of California’s legislative policies to buy recycled-content products and other environmentally preferable products. The programs also assist the Department of General Services (DGS), all other State agencies, and local governments in establishing policies and practices for purchasing recycled-content products (RCP), as well as support activities that promote waste reduction and waste management.

Program Overviews

  • State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign (SABRC). CalRecycle oversees the SABRC program in conjunction with support from the Department of General Services (DGS). State law requires state agencies and the Legislature to purchase products with postconsumer recycled content. State of California Procurement and Contracting Officers (PCO) should visit the SABRC website for recycled-content product (RCP) requirements. View SABRC’s 11 reportable product categories to see if a product has enough postconsumer recycled content to be SABRC-compliant, when filling out your agency’s requisition form.
  • Buying Green Guide. The DGS Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program maintains the Buying Green Guide, which provides information, tools, and tips for buyers. PCOs and local governments should visit this Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) website, maintained by DGS, for available statewide green contracts. Several different categories of products are included such as appliances, building and maintenance, cleaning supplies, and grounds maintenance. Information about specifications, standards, certifications, laws, regulations, and policies, and current state contracts for government purchasing are also provided. Visit the DGS Procurement Division’s contracts page for a complete list of statewide commodity contracts.
  • Green Building. Governor Brown’s Executive Order B-18-12 sets forth California’s sustainable building goals to use resources efficiently, including buying environmentally preferable products.
  • Newsprint Program. California’s newsprint law mandates the use of a specified amount of recycled-content newsprint by printers and publishers located in California. These businesses must certify the amount of recycled-content newsprint used annually to CalRecycle. Recycled-content newsprint that complies with this program also satisfies the minimum content requirements of SABRC in the Printing and Writing Paper category.
  • Plastic Trash Bag Program. California’s trash bag law requires plastic trash bag manufacturers to use a specific amount of postconsumer plastic material to produce the trash bags sold in California. It also sets requirements on those selling or distributing regulated trash bags in California. Noncompliant companies are ineligible for award of any state contract or subcontract. Recycled-content plastic trash bags that comply with this law also satisfy the minimum content requirements of SABRC in the plastic category.
  • Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Program (RPPC). California’s law requires that rigid plastic packaging (that holds product sold or offered for sale to the state) meet certain criteria. Some criteria includes recycled content.

Other Buy Recycled Activities

  • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. EPP is the procurement of goods and services that have a reduced impact on human health and the environment compared to competing products serving the same purpose. It is an essential part of our search for high quality products and services at competitive prices. CalRecycle’s EPP site provides a collection of available tools and other resources to help individuals and organizations initiate or improve their EPP performance.
  • Organics/Composting. CalRecycle works with the industry regarding permitting and building infrastructure in California. CalRecycle promotes composting, mulching, grasscycling, and other actions related to the management and use of organic resources.
  • Construction and Demolition Debris RecyclingCalRecycle works with the industry to identify ways to reduce building construction and demolition debris going to landfills, recycle more materials, and meet California’s mandated diversion goal of 50 percent.
  • Tire Derived ProductsCalRecycle works with the tire industry and manufacturers to promote products made from California recycled used tires, such as building construction, traffic control, road and paving, playgrounds, landscaping as well as consumer products.

Additional Resources

Many resources are available to help you learn more about recycled-content products (RCP) and other environmentally preferable products (EPP). These resources are organized into three specialized sections, in addition to the general resources listed on this page:

Audience-Specific. These resources were designed with specific audiences in mind, such as state agencies or schools, but they may be useful to others.

Product Category-Specific. These resources highlight specific product categories, such as paper or glass.

Purchasing Resources. This page includes directories, databases, catalogs, and tools.

You may also be interested in these other CalRecycle purchasing resources: Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Tools and Resources.

Vendor Resources

Listed below are resources and tools that vendors can use to help implement a successful State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign (SABRC) program.

How to Sell to the State of California. Strategies and tools for marketing products to state government customers.

Guidance on Form 74 for Vendors.

Frequently Asked Questions. CalRecycle’s responses to frequently asked vendor questions.

For more information contact: Buy Recycled,