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Policy Positions

From time to time, the NERC Board of Directors adopts a policy position to guide the organization and to inform the recycling community. Over its lengthy history, this has happened relatively few times. As such, the policies that have been adopted represent not only the position of the organization, but highlight a topic of particular sensitivity and concern.

Post-Consumer Recycled Content Policy (2019)

Purpose & Background:

NERC supports waste minimization, conservation of natural resources, and the positive role that recycling and the use of post-consumer recycled content plays in a sustainable environment and economy. Despite improvements in the use of post-consumer recycled content in some products, significant opportunities remain to increase the use of this material; market driven incentives have generally proved insufficient to increase its use. 

NERC believes that beyond voluntary initiatives, mandatory actions based on science and economics are needed to drive an increased use of post-consumer recycled content. 


In support of its mission to minimize waste, conserve natural resources, and advance a sustainable economy, NERC has adopted this policy to encourage government legislative and procurement requirements for minimum post-consumer content. NERC believes these requirements generally should apply to all consumer goods produced from materials including, but not limited to: aluminum, steel, glass, paper, and plastics. There may be circumstances under which this is not the preferred approach, but this would be a circumstance specific to a particular commodity and product.

NERC Action Guidelines:

As an organization that has a depth of expertise in public/private collaboration and negotiation, as well as recycling market development, NERC is ideally poised to effect change. To implement this policy NERC will pursue actions, including but not limited to: 

  • Initiating, participating in, and/or facilitating multi-stakeholder meetings to establish agreements and requirements that support minimum post-consumer recycled content requirements.
  • Working with governmental entities to develop and establish these requirements.
  • Cooperating in outreach and educational activities that encourage and support minimum post-consumer recycled content.
  • Identifying opportunities to develop infrastructure and boost the economic feasibility of recycling through improved access to available markets
  • Supporting approaches that increase consumption of recycled content to ensure demand is not merely shifted from one buyer to another.

Adopted December 5, 2019