The Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) is a certification standard that provides verification and transparency for products made with recycled materials. It sets requirements for the content of recycled materials in a product, as well as the traceability and chain of custody of those materials throughout the supply chain.
Key features and principles of the Recycled Claim Standard include:
Content Percentage: The RCS sets minimum requirements for the percentage of recycled materials in a product. To make a "Recycled" claim, the product must contain a specified minimum percentage of recycled content, which can vary depending on the product category.
Traceability: The standard requires a robust chain of custody system to ensure the traceability of recycled materials. This means that the movement of recycled materials from their source through each stage of production, processing, and distribution is documented and audited to prevent mixing with non-recycled materials.
Verification: The RCS requires independent third-party verification to ensure compliance with its requirements. Certification bodies conduct audits and inspections to verify that the product meets the standard's criteria for recycled content and chain of custody.
Transparency: The RCS promotes transparency by allowing manufacturers to communicate the percentage of recycled content in their products. This information can be shared with consumers and other stakeholders to provide clear and reliable information about the environmental attributes of the product.
Integrity of Claims: The standard helps prevent greenwashing by providing clear guidelines for making recycled content claims. It sets requirements for accurate labeling and prohibits misleading or false claims about the recycled content of a product.
The Recycled Claim Standard is applicable to a wide range of products, including textiles, packaging materials, and other manufactured goods. It provides a consistent and credible framework for verifying the recycled content of products and promoting more sustainable consumption patterns.
By adhering to the RCS, companies can demonstrate their commitment to using recycled materials, reducing waste, and promoting a circular economy. Consumers can also make informed choices by selecting products that carry the RCS certification, knowing that they have been independently verified for their recycled content.