You can find all sorts of products, from garbage bags to insulation, labeled as containing recycled material. But how can you be sure that labeling is correct?
This is where companies like GreenCircle Certified
come in. The business, based in Schwenksville, Montgomery County, certifies whether products contain recycled components. This week GreenCircle announced a partnership with the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center
to certify more Pennsylvania-made products.
GreenCircle has already certified more than 400 items, mostly building materials. That means the company has conducted a detailed analysis of how much of a product is made of post-consumer content (like empty soda cans) and pre-consumer content (like manufacturing waste). The analysis also includes reviews of records to verify that a company is actually buying recycled materials and studies of how items are made.
Co-founder Tad Radzinski says the need for an independent verification system became clear when he was working on renovating an office for GreenCircle's parent company, Sustainable Solutions Corp.
He wanted to use as many sustainable materials as possible, but ran into plenty of inaccurate labeling.
Bob Bylone, executive director of the Recycling Markets Center, says GreenCircle's third-party verification process means customers can trust the label when they see it. And while the process is completely voluntary for manufacturers, he says Pennsylvania companies are excited about this opportunity to market their sustainable products. Plus, the verification process often shows companies ways to introduce more recycled content into the things they make.
Sources: Bob Bylone, Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center; Tad Radzinski, GreenCircle CertifiedWriter: Rebecca VanderMeulen