Good question. Products that say they are made of recycled content were made from materials that were retrieved from the manufacturing process that would otherwise be thrown out. Scraps or by-products from processing are gathered and use to make new products instead of conventional disposal.
For example the trimmings of paper cut to size can be combined with others, instead of being thrown away, to make new paper.
In paper, recycled content consists of post-consumer or pre-consumer materials. Pre-consumer materials are any paper scraps that have left the paper mill, but were deemed unsuitable for consumer use for a variety of reasons. It is then combined with post-consumer paper products in the paper mill. There is some controversy over whether pre-consumer materials can be considered “recycled material”, since they are virgin materials that have not already been used.
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