Who Buys Recycled Products?

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Consumers and businesses recycle waste materials such as newspaper, glass and plastic to conserve resources and reduce trash in the landfills. After raw waste materials are recycled, manufacturers buy them as raw resources, and convert them into recycled products. Once recycled products make it to the retail market, several entities purchase these goods.

Federal Purchasing

  • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that helps the government to buy green by purchasing recycled products. EPP uses Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance, to establish purchasing procedures for government organizations. Federal purchases for recycled products are important to America’s economy. Some industries and businesses follow the government’s spending guidelines regarding procuring green products.

State Purchasing

  • Massachusetts is one state that endorses businesses procuring recycled materials. The Massachusetts state government administers statewide contracts to industries, businesses and organizations that buy recycled products. The Massachusetts state government also endorses the EPP program since the federal program helps to establish statewide guidelines for purchasing recycled goods.

Manufacturers

  • Manufacturers purchase recycled materials in order to conserve natural resources and to create consumer goods. Markets are created, and the recycling industry remains sustainable when manufacturers continuously purchase recovered materials, says the EPA. The EPA also provides procurement guidelines to manufacturers, and programs such as Waste Wise are designed to partner with producers to assist them with their recycling efforts.

Consumers

  • Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection encourages consumers to purchase recycled products. It promotes this practice for the purpose of creating markets for recycled materials and for other reasons such as saving energy. Creating jobs, supporting the development of green technologies and promoting and supporting a more sustainable lifestyle or business are other goals that Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection uses to influence consumer purchases of recycled goods. According to the EPA, at the time of publication, more than 4,500 recycled products are available for consumers to buy, including carpeting, motor oil and newspapers.

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  • Photo Credit Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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