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Because collection sites for recycling aluminum beverage cans are available to a substantial majority of consumers or communities, the claim does not need to be qualified to indicate the limited availability of recycling programs.

Recycled Content

A recycled content claim might be made only for materials that have been recovered or otherwise diverted from the solid waste stream, either during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer), or after consumer use (post-consumer). To the extent the source of recycled content includes pre-consumer material, the manufacturer or advertiser must have substantiation for concluding that the pre-consumer material would otherwise have entered the solid waste stream. In asserting a recycled content claim, distinctions might be made between pre-consumer and post-consumer materials. Where such distinctions are asserted, any express or implied claim about the specific pre-consumer or post-consumer content of a product or package must be substantiated.

It is deceptive to misrepresent, directly or by implication, that a product or package is made of recycled material, which includes recycled raw material, in addition to used, reconditioned, and remanufactured components. Unqualified claims of recycled content might be made if the entire product or package, excluding minor, incidental components, is made from recycled material. For products or packages that are only partially made of recycled material, a recycled claim should be adequately qualified to avoid consumer deception about the amount, by weight, of recycled content in the finished product or package. Additionally, for products that contain used, reconditioned, or remanufactured components, a recycled claim should be adequately qualified to avoid consumer deception about the nature of such components. No such qualification is necessary in cases where it is clear to consumers from the context that a product’s recycled content consists of used, reconditioned, or remanufactured components.

Example 1

A manufacturer routinely collects spilled raw material and scraps left over from the original manufacturing process. After a minimal amount of reprocessing, the manufacturer combines the spills and scraps with virgin material for use in further production of the same product. A claim that the product contains recycled material is deceptive because the spills and scraps to which the claim refers are generally reused by industry within the original manufacturing process and would not normally have entered the waste stream.

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