Pennsylvania manufacturers can certify recycled content

The Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (RMC) launched an exclusive partnership with GreenCircle Certified LLC, a Schwenksville company that has developed a system to certify products with recycled content.

The voluntary certification of recycled content is expected to help Pennsylvania companies and products that use recycled materials to stand out and become more competitive in the marketplace.

“Pennsylvanians will soon begin seeing more of the ‘GreenCircle Certified’ mark. This mark will confirm and verify claims of recycled content in a wide variety of goods, from building materials to furnishings to general consumer goods,” said Robert Bylone Jr., executive director and president of the RMC.

The RMC will work with GreenCircle and provide assistance to its clients, but GreenCircle will maintain the certification process as an independent program.

Tad Radzinski, co-founder of and certification officer for GreenCircle, pointed out that “as recycling and sustainability in general have grown in economic importance and gained widespread acceptance with the purchasing public, we’ve seen more and more companies making ‘green claims’ about their products and manufacturing operations. Our role is to validate the legitimate claims so they can be distinguished from those that are either inaccurate or misleading.”

Radzinski served as a national expert in waste minimization for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 1997 to 2007. For his service to the EPA he received two national Notable Achievement Awards and a Superior Service Medal.

Bylone emphasized that the ultimate purpose of the partnership is to enhance the RMC’s mission of building recycling markets in Pennsylvania – by driving an increase in the use of recycled raw materials and encouraging the manufacture and sale of more products with recycled content.

Radzinski said certification basically demonstrates that a claim made by a company has been evaluated and verified and that the company can consistently manufacture a product that matches its claim about recycled content.

He said he expects manufacturers that make products with recycled content will be eager to benefit from third-party certification. Because third-party certification is inherently objective, he said, it can be “a valuable asset in establishing credibility and developing consumer confidence.”

As part of the arrangement, Bylone added, the RMC will advise and work with companies that want to increase their use of recycled materials and qualify for certification. He said the RMC will also work with GreenCircle to promote Pennsylvania recycling industries beyond the commonwealth’s borders.

According to the RMC, Pennsylvania has 2,265 operations involved in the collection and processing of recyclables, 484 manufacturers and demand-side users of recycled materials, and 1,054 operations involved in reuse and remanufacturing.