Recycled Content Newsprint Program

stack of newspapers

CalRecycle has overseen California’s Recycled Content Newsprint (RCN) Program required by statute and regulations since January 1, 1991. This program supports building a circular economy by requiring newsprint be comprised of no less than 40% postconsumer waste paper fiber by weight.

Examples of printed and published newsprint include:

  • Newspapers
  • Commercial advertising inserts
  • Directories
  • Commercial advertising mailers

The program requirements apply to:

  • Manufacturers who produce newsprint used in California,
  • Suppliers who supply newsprint used in California, and
  • Commercial Printers and Publishers (“Consumers”) located in California.
stack of magazines

The law requires CalRecycle to develop and set RCN Quality Standards that reflect changes in industry standards and practices while showing that RNC is equivalent to virgin newsprint.

Program Requirements

The RCN law is intended to reduce paper waste going to California’s landfills and to promote and sustain markets for the collection and use of postconsumer newsprint. To achieve these goals, the Law requires:

  • Consumers who print and publish on newsprint must:
    • Ensure that at least 50% of the total newsprint used is RCN and
    • Certify the amount of RCN used.
  • Manufacturers:
    • Ensure that the RCN produced meets quality standards and
    • Certify the amount of RCN produced and shipped to California.
  • Suppliers are required to certify the amount of RCN and non-RCN material for every shipment of newsprint to a Consumer or other Supplier.

To inform CalRecycle of their successful implementation of the law, newsprint Consumers and Manufacturers are required to submit compliance certifications by March 1 of each year.

Newsprint Consumers

Requirements for Consumers (printers and publishers).

Newsprint Manufacturers

Requirements for Manufacturers.

Newsprint Suppliers

Requirements for Suppliers.


Compliance and Enforcement

Compliance and penalty information.

Mail: CalRecycle, Attn: Recycled Content Newsprint Program, P.O. Box 4025, MS 10A-17, Sacramento, CA  95812-4025

Phone: (916) 341-6200  |   Email:  |  Fax: (916) 319-7777