Recycling warehouse

Newsprint Manufacturers

Newsprint Manufacturers that produce newsprint used in California must comply with the Recycled Content Newsprint (RCN) Law. This includes reporting requirements such as the amount of recycled content newsprint (RCN) produced and shipped to California.

For additional information regarding the requirements of the law, refer to the Newsprint program’s regulations. The regulations provide definition of terms, including “Manufacturer” and the program requirements.

Annual Certification Requirements

Newsprint Manufacturers must certify the metric tons of RCN, by grade, contained in each shipment made to Consumers or Suppliers for use in California. If a shipment contains no RCN, Manufactures are required to certify so.

Additionally, by March 1 of each year, newsprint Manufacturers are required to certify to CalRecycle for the previous calendar year (January 1 to December 31) the following:

  • The metric tons of post-consumer waste paper and/or deinked pulp received or produced at each of the mills producing recycled-content newsprint for use in California during the reporting period.
  • The metric tons of recycled-content newsprint, by grade, which were produced at each mill and were shipped for use in California during the reporting period.

CalRecycle has developed a sample certification to support the aforementioned requirements. This resource tool is not mandated for use.

Recycled Content Newsprint Quality Standards

As part of overseeing the RCN program, CalRecycle must review and set RCN comparable quality standards for each newsprint grade. The standards aim to determine the comparable quality of RCN to virgin newsprint.

Standards are established based on the methods of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) to determine opacity, brightness, and cross-machine tear strength as outlined in the regulations CCR section 17964.

Manufacturers are to use the standards as the baseline their RCN must meet (CCR section 17964(a)). Consumers are to use the standards when determining if they can claim an exemption because the available RCN did not meet the quality standards (CCR section 17972(c)(2)).


The current standards can be viewed here.

bales of recycled paper

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