Recycled Content Products

Recycled content items are items produced with recovered materials. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Comprehensive Procurement Guideline Program (CPG) defines recycled content preference items and lists items manufactured with recycled material that EPA deems equivalent to virgin material for standard applications.

Requirements and Policy

Statutory Requirements

Under Section 6002 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), EPA is required to designate items that are, or can be, produced with recovered materials and to recommend practices for buying these items. RCRA Section 6002 also requires purchasing agencies to establish Affirmative Procurement Programs (APP) for EPA designated items.

Federal Acquisition Regulation

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 23 requires agencies to purchase recycled content products.

  • FAR 23.403 requires competitive cost-effective purchases of products that meet reasonable performance requirements and are composed of the highest percentage of recovered materials practicable.
  • FAR 23.404 requires agencies to have an APP that provides guidelines for purchasing items with recycled content.
  • FAR 23.406 prescribes various contract clauses related to recycled content items.

Additionally, various other FAR Parts also include recycled content item requirements:

  • FAR Part 4.3 requires contractors to submit acquisition-related paper documents to the government on printed or copied double-sided recycled paper, whenever practicable.
  • FAR Part 10.001 and 10.002 requires agencies to use the results of market research to ensure the maximum practicable use of recovered materials and promote energy conservation and efficiency.
  • FAR Part 12.301 allows contracting officers to use provisions and clauses regarding the use of recycled products, when appropriate.
  • FAR Part 36.6 requires the statement of work for facility design contracts to use the maximum practicable amount of recycled materials.

Executive Order

Executive Order 13834 Efficient Federal Operations requires that agencies acquire, use, and dispose of products and services in accordance with statutory mandates for purchasing preference, FAR requirements, and other applicable Federal procurement policies.

Find and Purchase

Currently, EPA has designated more than 60 items in the following eight product categories:

  • Construction Products;
  • Landscaping Products;
  • Non-Paper Office Products;
  • Paper and Paper Products;
  • Park and Recreation Products;
  • Transportation Products;
  • Vehicular Products; and
  • Miscellaneous Products.

Recycled products are available for purchase through the GSA Multiple Award Schedule and other government-wide contract vehicles at GSA Advantage!® and GSA Global Supply™.

Last Reviewed: 2020-02-11