Glossary

 

Recyclable
This means that a product is capable of being recycled.
Be aware of facilities available to actually recycle the product as these may not be easily accessible to users in every area (or country even!). This could mean that once finished with it wouldn't be recycled and so can be a spurious environmental claim.

Recycling
This is generally thought of as the collection of used materials which are then sorted and reprocessed to be used again.

Recycled
This is something that having already been used is then incorporated into a new product.

Recycled Content
This means that a substance or product contains materials that have been recycled.
Be aware that recycled content does not always mean that the item uses 100% recycled materials and that recycled content will vary from product to product.

Pre-consumer materials
This is generally materials generated during normal production methods that would perhaps otherwise become waste that has not literally ‘been used'.

Post-consumer materials
These are items that have been used, fulfilling their original purpose, and finished with.

Sustainable
Is something that can continue or be maintained over time. Generally thought of as something that has minimal impact on the environment.

Biodegradable
This is something that will break down on its own.
Often relates to natural products such as cotton and increasingly to bioplastics.
Be aware that this is not the same as degradable which although can be broken down would need chemical or industrial assistance.

Fair Trade
Relates to the buying and selling of goods, usually under ageed terms, that ensures producers receive fair payment.

 

 

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