United States
                       Environmental Protection
                     Solid Waste
                     and Emergency Response
                       2000  Buy-Recycled Series
                       Nonpaper Office Products
                                                             NONPAPER OFFICE
EcoPurchasing means
considering attributes
     such as
  recycled content
   before you buy
    a product.
       The soda bottle you recycled after
       lunch might end up back on your
       desk as a recycled binder or pencil
holder. Used toner cartridges and printer
ribbons once considered "trash" are now
remanufactured and returned, providing
your office with high-performance products
at considerable savings.
  To make it easier to buy recycled, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) updates the Comprehensive Procurement
Guidelines (CPG) every 2 years. Through the CPG, EPA designates
items that must contain recycled materials when purchased by
federal, state, and local agencies, or by government contractors,
using appropriated federal funds. Several nonpaper office prod-
ucts are among these items. EPA's research shows that the items
designated in the CPG are of high quality, widely available, and
cost-competitive with virgin products. EPA also issues nonregula-
tory companion guidance—the Recovered Materials Advisory
Notice (RMAN)—that recommends levels of recycled content for
those items.
  If you're involved in purchasing office supplies, you can help
close the recycling loop and create a demand for the materials we
collect for recycling each day. Lead by example—buy recycled-
content office products such as trash bags, binders, plastic
envelopes and file folders, and desktop accessories.
                           Printed on paper that contains at least 30 percent postconsumer fiber.

                       What Is The CPG?
  The CPG
agencies to
 buy items
made from
       Recycling is more than just dropping off
       your cans, bottles, and newspapers at
       the curb or at a local collection facility.
Diverting recyclables from the waste stream is
only the first of three steps in the recycling
process. The second step occurs when compa-
nies use these recyclables to manufacture new
products. The third step comes  when you pur-
chase products made from recovered materials.
That's how we close the loop.
   To support markets for the materials collect-
ed in recycling programs and to help these pro-
grams expand, the Resource Conservation and
Recovery Act requires  agencies  to buy recy-
cled-content products  designated by EPA. In
addition, President Clinton signed Executive
Order 13101 in September 1998, which called
for an increase in the federal government's use
of recycled-content and other environmentally
preferable products.
   Issued in May 1995, the first CPG designat-
ed 19 new products in seven product cate-
gories, including binders, office recycling
containers, office waste receptacles, plastic
desktop accessories, plastic trash bags, and
toner cartridges. The first CPG also incorporat-
ed five previously designated items. Procuring
agencies are required to purchase these items
with recycled content. The first CPG update
[CPG II) was published in November 1997, and
designated an additional 12 items, including
plastic envelopes and printer ribbons. A sec-
ond CPG update  (CPG III) was published in
January 2000 and designated an additional
18 items, including plastic binders, plastic clip-
boards, plastic file folders, plastic clip portfo-
lios, and plastic presentation folders.
   Procuring agencies  include all federal agen-
cies, and any state or local government agency
or government contractor that uses appropriat-
ed federal funds to purchase the designated
items. If your agency spends more than $10,000
per year on a product designated in the CPG,
you are required to purchase it with the highest
recycled-content level practicable. The CPG
also applies to lease contracts covering desig-
nated items.
   Once designated, an agency has 1 year to
develop an affirmative procurement program
(or revise an existing one) for a designated item
it purchases. By May 1, 1996, agencies were
required to develop affirmative procurement
programs to incorporate buy-recycled require-
ments for recycling containers and waste recep-
tacles; plastic desktop accessories; plastic
covered, paper covered, and pressboard
binders; trash bags; and toner cartridges. By
November 13, 1998, agencies were required to
revise their affirmative procurement programs
to add printer ribbons and plastic envelopes.
Agencies also must revise their affirmative pro-
curement programs to add the items designated
under CPG III by January 2001. This effort
might involve reviewing specifications for
those products and eliminating provisions that
pose barriers to procuring them with recycled
content (such as aesthetic requirements unre-
lated to product performance). Also, be aware
that paper envelopes were designated in CPG I.
Recommended recycled-content ranges for
paper envelopes are addressed in the RMAN
for paper products and can also be found in the
Buy-Recycled Series Paper Products fact sheet.
   The CPG acknowledges, however, that spe-
cific circumstances might arise that preclude
the purchase of products made with recovered
materials. Your agency may purchase designat-
ed items that do not contain recovered materi-
als if it determines that: 1) the price of a given
designated item made with recovered materials
is unreasonably high, 2) there is inadequate
competition (not enough sources of supply),
3) unusual and unreasonable delays would
result from obtaining the item, or 4) the recy-
cled-content item does not meet the agency's
reasonable performance specifications.

How Do I Purchase Recycled-Content Nonpaper Office Products?
      EPA issues guidance in RMANs, which are
      designed to make it as easy as possible to buy the
      designated items. The RMANs recommend recy-
cled-content levels to look for when purchasing office
products, as shown in the chart on the next page.
Following the RMANs' recommended levels will help
ensure your affirmative procurement program and stan-
dards meet the buy-recycled requirements.
   Rather than specifying just one level of recycled
content, the RMANs recommend ranges that reflect
                     actual market conditions. The recommendations are
                     based on market research identifying recycled-content
                     products that are commercially available, are compet-
                     itively priced, and meet buyers' quality standards.
                        Refer to EPA's availability list entitled "Nonpaper
                     Office Products Containing Recovered Materials" for
                     sources of the designated nonpaper office items. See
                     the last section of this fact sheet for this and other
                     helpful resources.
  Plastic Envelopes:
    Used in heavy-duty,
    security-related, and
    other specialized mailing
    applications by the
    express mail, banking,
    legal, and other
    Lightweight, tear-
    resistant, durable, and
  Printer Ribbons:
    Reinked printer ribbons
    are used ribbons in print-
    er cartridges that are
    reinked using electromag-
    netic machinery. Ribbons
    can be reinked until they
    reach the end of their
    useful life and begin to
    fall apart.
    Reloaded printer ribbons
    are new fabric ribbons
    that are reloaded by ven-
    dors when used ribbons
    run out of ink. The print-
    er cartridge is reused.
CASE STUDY: U.S. Postal Service & U.S. General Services Administration
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has been using Tyvek® envelopes
with a minimum of 25 percent postconsumer high-density polyethylene
(HDPE) plastic ever since the product became available. In a typical year,
USPS spends more than $20 million on 120 million Tyvek® envelopes nation-
wide, using them primarily for express mail and priority mail. USPS staff
credit the reliability, superior strength, and lightweight properties of Tyvek®
for its success in the USPS mail distribution network. The U.S. General
Services Administration (GSA) also cites the envelopes' strength and weight as
reasons for their annual use of almost 2 million envelopes nationwide at a
purchasing cost  of more than $400,000. For more information, contact Dick
Lee of the USPS at 202 268-4153 or Cathy Ferreira of GSA at 212 264-2683.
CASE STUDY: State of Alabama
The state of Alabama has used reinked printer ribbons for years. The state pur-
chasing agency has ordered more than 3,000 reinked ribbons since November
1991. The Alabama Department of Human Resources alone typically requests
approximately 200 reinked ribbons per year. In addition, the cost of the
reinked ribbons is six times less than the cost of buying new ribbons and car-
tridges. For more information, contact John P. Patterson of the state of Alabama
at 334 242-3243 or Patricia Antle at 334  242-7253.
CASE STUDY: U.S. Postal Service
In 1993, the USPS district in Maine began purchasing reinked printer ribbons,
in large part due to the environmental commitment of an individual in the
purchasing department. Today, the district purchases more than 150 ribbons a
year from a local manufacturer, for both large and small impact printers. The
switch has worked out quite well. The reinked ribbons are one-third to one-
half as expensive as virgin ribbons. Maine USPS staff members are very
pleased with the performance of the product, noting that the ribbons last as
long, if not longer, than virgin ribbons. For more information, contact Bob
Kearney of the USPS at 207 828-8423.


How Do I Purchase Recycled-Content Nonpaper Office Products? (continued)
EPA's Recommended Content Levels for Nonpaper Office Products
Nonpaper Office Product1
Recycling Containers and Waste Receptacles:
— Paper
-Solid Fiber Boxes
-Industrial Paperboard
Plastic Desktop Accessories (polystyrene) including
desk organizers, sorters, and trays, and memo, note,
and pencil holders
— Plastic-Covered
— Paper-Covered
— Pressboard
—Solid Plastic
—Misc. Plastics
Trash Bags (plastic)
Toner Cartridges
Printer Ribbons
Plastic Envelopes
Plastic Clipboards:
— Misc. Plastics
Plastic File Folders
Plastic Clip Portfolios
Plastic Presentation Folders
Recovered Material Content Recommendations
20-100% (postconsumer)
16% (postconsumer)/25-30% (total)
25-50% (postconsumer)/25-50% (total)
40% (postconsumer)
40-80% (postconsumer)/100% (total)
25-80% (postconsumer)
75-100% (postconsumer)/90-100% (total)
20% (postconsumer)/50% (total)
90% (postconsumer)/90% (total)
30-50% (postconsumer)/30-50% (total)
100% (postconsumer)/100% (total)
80% (postconsumer)/80% (total)
10-100% (postconsumer)
Return used toner cartridges for remanufacturing and reuse or
purchase a remanufactured or recycled-content replacement
Procure printer ribbon reinking or reloading services or pro-
cure reinked or reloaded printer ribbons.
25% (postconsumer)/25-35% (total)
90% (postconsumer)/90% (total)
50% (postconsumer)/50% (total)
15% (postconsumer)/15-80% (total)
90% (postconsumer)/90% (total)
90% (postconsumer)/90% (total)
90% (postconsumer)/90% (total)
1 EPA's recommendations do not preclude procuring agencies from purchasing nonpaper office products manufactured using other materials, such as wood or
cloth. EPA simply recommends that procuring agencies, when purchasing nonpaper office products designated in the procurement guidelines, purchase these
products containing recovered materials.
^The recommended recovered materials content levels for steel in this table reflect the fact that the designated item is made from steel manufactured from in a
Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF). Steel from the BOF process contains 25-30% total recovered materials, of which 16% is postconsumer steel.

How Can I Get More Information?
             Information Available From EPA

             This fact sheet and the following publications on
             buying recycled-content products are available or
             can be accessed in electronic format on the
             Internet at . Use Internet e-
mail to order paper copies of documents. Include the requestor's
name and mailing address on all orders. Address e-mail to: rcra-
  Paper copies also may be ordered by calling the RCRA
Hotline. Callers within the Washington Metropolitan Area must
dial 703 412-9810 or TDD 703412-3323 (hearing impaired).
Long-distance callers may call 800 424-9346 or TDD 800 553-
7672. The RCRA Hotline operates weekdays, from 9:00 a.m. to
6:00  p.m., e.s.t.
* EPA Expands Comprehensive Procurement Guideline
  (CPG) (EPA530-F-00-017). This fact sheet provides general
  information about the CPG and the development of affirmative
  procurement programs.
* Federal Register (FR) notices promulgating CPG I (60 FR
  21370/EPA530-Z-95-006) and RMAN I (60 FR 21386/EPA530-
  Z-95-007), May 1, 1995. FR notices promulgating CPG II (62
  FR60961/EPA530-Z-97-009) and RMAN  II (62 FR
  60975/EPA530-Z-97-010), November 13,  1997. FR notices
  promulgating CPG III (65  FR 3070) and RMAN III (65 FR
  3082), January 19, 2000.
* Nonpaper Office Products Containing Recovered Materials
  (EPA530-B-99-014). This list identifies manufacturers and sup-
  pliers of nonpaper office products containing recovered materi-
  als. (Each listing is based on information provided by the
  manufacturer and does not constitute an endorsement by EPA.)
* A  Study of State and Local Government Procurement
  Practices that Consider Environmental Performance of
  Goods and Services (EPA742-R-96-007). This report pro-
  vides important program elements and case studies of state
  and county agencies purchasing environmentally preferable
  products and services.  For a copy of the report or more infor-
  mation on EPA's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)
  program,  contact the Pollution Prevention Information
  Clearinghouse at 401 M Street, SW. (7409), Washington, DC
  20460. Phone: 202 260-1023. Fax: 202 260-4659. Visit the
  EPP home  page at .

               Other Sources of Information
               * Buy Recycled Business Alliance. The
               Alliance includes over 3,200 companies and
               organizations committed to increasing their use
               of recycled-content products and materials in
               their day-to-day operations. The Alliance offers
educational  materials, a quarterly newsletter, and product-specif-
ic guides. Public purchasing entities can join for free. For more
information, contact Kevin Barry, National Recycling Coalition,
1727 King Street, Suite 105, Alexandria, VA 22314-2720. Phone:
703 683-9025, Ext. 210. Fax: 703 683-9026.
Web site: www.nrc-recycle.org
E-mail: brbainfo@nrc-recycle.org.
* DLA Environmental Products Catalogue. This document is
  an important source of supply information for environmental
  products from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). It includes
  items from all  DLA inventory control points containing recycled
material or having other environmental benefits. For more
information, call 800 345-6333 or fax 800 352-3291. Military
customers can call DSN 695-5699 or fax DSN 695-5695. For
information on the CD-ROM version of the catalogue, contact
the DLA Service Center at 616 961 -4459 or DSN 932-4459.
Web site: www.dscr.dla.mil
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) GSA publishes
various supply catalogs, guides,  and schedules for recycled-
content products available through the Federal Supply
Service. For copies of the following documents and other infor-
mation, contact GSA, Centralized Mailing List Service
(7CAFL), 4900 Hemphill Street, P.O. Box 6477, Fort Worth, TX
76115-9939. Phone: 817 334-5215. Fax: 817 334-5561. You
can also access GSA Advantage!, GSAs Internet-based online
ordering system, to order  any GSA product at .
  -  Recycling Collection Containers and Specialty Waste
    Receptacles, Federal Supply Schedule Group 72, Part
    7, Schedule B. Lists a variety of containers and recepta-
    cles available for purchase.
  -  Next Day Delivery Office Supplies, Federal Supply
    Schedule Group  75, Part 3, Section A. Lists 25 percent
    recovered-content plastic envelopes for purchase for next
    day delivery.
  -  Environmental Products Guide. This guide is designed
    to help procurement officials identify environmentally
    preferable products and services. It contains nearly 3,000
    items, including many recycled-content products.
Greening the Government: A Guide to Implementing
Executive Order 12873. This guide provides detailed informa-
tion on establishing and implementing federal affirmative pro-
curement plans. Updated  in  the summer of 1997, it is available
without charge from the Office of the Federal Environmental
Executive, Ariel Rios Building, Mail Code 1600S, 1200
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.,  Washington, DC 20460. Phone:
202 564-1297. Fax: 202 564-1393.
Web site: www.ofee.gov
You can also download an electronic version on the Internet at
National Association of  State Purchasing Officials
(NASPO). NASPO's Internet-based Database of Recycled
Commodities (DRC) includes information from states on their
recycled product procurement. Data include product distribu-
tors, manufacturers, brand names, recycled and postconsumer
content, "Energy Star" rating, units purchased, unit of mea-
surement, unit price, and type of procurement. Visit the
NASPO web site at .
Official Recycled Products Guide. This directory lists more
than 5,000 manufacturers and distributors of recycled-content
products, including those  of  plastic desktop accessories, trash
bags, and plastic envelopes. Contact: Recycling Data
Management Corporation, P.O. Box 577, Ogdensburg, NY
13669. Phone: 800 267-0707. Fax: 315 471-3258.
Recycled Plastic Products Source Book. This booklet lists
more than 1,300 plastic products  from approximately 300 manu-
facturers, including nonpaper office products.  For more informa-
tion, call the American  Plastics Council (APC), 1801  K Street,
NW., Suite 7010, Washington, DC 20006. Phone:
202 974-5400. Fax: 202 296-7119. Visit the APC Web site at

How Can I  Get More Information? (Continued)
             Internet Sites
             Government Sites
             * The Comprehensive Procurement
             Guidelines: . This site
             describes EPA's effort to facilitate the procure-
 ment of products containing recovered materials, including
 information on CPG, RMANs, and the Buy-Recycled Series.
 Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP):
 . EPA's Environmentally Preferable
 Purchasing program encourages and assists federal agencies
 to purchase environmentally preferable products and services.
 The site explains EPA's proposed guiding principles for includ-
 ing environmental performance in purchasing decision-making,
 and posts case studies of successful pilot projects in both the
 public and private sectors.
 Federal Trade Commission:
 . The Federal
 Trade Commission issued Guides for the Use of Environmental
 Marketing Claims in May 1998.
 The Fedmarket Procurement Assistance Jumpstation:
 This site contains links to many sites containing procurement
 Jobs Through Recycling: . EPA's Jobs
 Through Recycling program stimulates economic growth and
 recycling market development  by assisting businesses and
 supporting a network of state and regional recycling contacts.
 This Web site provides information on financing and technical
 assistance for recycling businesses,  as well as other market
 development tools.
* King County Recycled Product Procurement Program:
  . This site describes
  the tools and techniques developed by King County,
  Washington, agencies for purchasing recycled products.
* Municipal Solid Waste: . This site
  includes information on recycling, source reduction, and reuse.
  Contains state municipal solid waste data and the latest facts
  and figures on waste generation and disposal.
* WasteWise: . WasteWise is a free,
  voluntary EPA program through which organizations eliminate
  costly municipal solid waste, benefitting their bottom line and
  the environment. The program provides hands-on assistance
  to members to help them  purchase or manufacture  recycled-
  content products, prevent waste, and recycle solid waste

Product Information
* Recycling Data Network Information Services:
  . This commercial Web site pro-
  vides access, on a subscription basis, to a recycled-content
  products database of over 4,500 listings in 700 product classi-
  fications. Managed by the publisher of the Official Recycled
  Products Guide, the product database is considered to be the
  largest of its kind.
* California Recycled-Content Product Database:
  . This site contains information on
  why to buy recycled-content products, how to procure them,
  and provides access to a  database with information on prod-
  ucts, as well as manufacturers, distributors, reprocessors,
  mills, and converters across the country who procure  or pro-
  duce these products.

 In addition, contact your state solid waste management agency
    for information about local and regional businesses that pro-
          duce or distribute recycled-content products.
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