Recycled Plastic Products and Materials

Recycled plastic is the end product of plastic recycling. It is produced in nearly every variation that new (“virgin”) plastic is produced.

“Buy recycled” programs are those that encourage or require consumers to purchase recycled products. In the case of plastic, buy recycled programs are essential to increase the economy of scale for recycled plastic production so that recycled plastic can compete with new plastic.

CalRecycle Programs

Plastic Trash Bag Program. California’s trash bag law requires plastic trash bag manufacturers to use a specific amount of plastic postconsumer material to produce the trash bags sold in California.

Rigid Plastic Packaging Containers (RPPC). CalRecycle oversees the Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act of 1991, which requires that RPPCs meet one of several criteria designed to reduce the amount of plastic being landfilled. CalRecycle maintains a manufacturers’ certification program, encourages market development, and conducts outreach activities promoting recycling of plastics.

Recycled Plastic Lumber (RPL). This webpage includes information on how RPL is manufactured, what it can be used for, different types and specifications, testing methods, resources for purchasing RPL, and sources for additional information.

Recycled-Content Product Manufacturers Directory. The Recycled-Content Product Manufacturers (RCPM) directory allows you to search for California manufacturers who use recycled material as a feedstock. The RCPM directory puts you in touch directly with the manufacturers who make recycled-content products.

Other Websites

Comprehensive Procurement Guideline for Plastic Products (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). This web site provides information about recycled procurement guidelines for the U.S. government and includes the actual recommended recovered fiber/postconsumer fiber content ranges for a wide variety of products. The recycled-content standards in the guidelines are commonly used by private businesses and state governments throughout the United States.

CalRecycle Publications

Buy Recycled Publications: This webpage lists all of CalRecycle’s publications addressing recycled plastic (as well as other recycled products).

Other Publications

Official Recycled Products Guide (RPG): The RPG is the most comprehensive listing of recycled products in the country. It lists products both by the specific type of product and by the type of secondary materials used to manufacture them. It includes numerous plastic and plasticboard products. The RPG is published by Recycling Data Management Corporation, PO Box 577, Ogdensburg, NY 13669-0577; (800) 267-0707.

For more information, contact