I am constantly noticing new terms on packaging. One that caught my eye recently was post-consumer content. After a little bit of research I learned there were two similar labeling phrases, and the three are often compared and confused with each other.
Pre-consumer products are made from materials that would otherwise have been discarded. Examples of pre-consumer content would be trimmings from packaging, or items rejected by quality control during the manufacturing process.
There are more than 4,500 recycled-content products available - a number that continues to increase. Many of the products you buy contain recycled-content.
Post-consumer content is a material that has served its intended purpose and has been discarded. The discarded material, usually what you toss in your recycling bin, is then re-purposed and used as post-consumer content.
Recycled content might be made of any combination of post-consumer content and recycled content. Recycled content is not necessarily or primarily produced from a typical local recycling program as the name might lead you to believe.
No kind of recycling is any better than the other. Obviously we strive to reuse content again and again as many times as possible, so seeing more post-consumer content coming into the market will be exciting for all of us.