About RMS

The Recycled Material Standard

About the Certification

The Recycled Material Standard (RMS) program is based on a three party system (often referred to as third-party certification).  The three parties involved are:

Certification steps


  1. GreenBlue – developed and maintains the Recycled Material Standard.  These are the rules for participation.
  2. Participant – a company within the supply chain that meets the requirements of the standard and gets certified.  
  3. Certification Body – an accredited third party carrying out the auditing functions required for certification.  The “CBs” make sure participants are following the rules in order to maintain their certified status.

Requirements for Participation

At initial launch, only entities located in North America will be eligible for certification to the standard.

In order to establish chain of custody, all participants from the point of reprocessing (sometimes referred to as reclaimers) through manufacturing and labeling of a final product are required to be certified.

To generate ARCs, re-processors must also meet additional criteria as defined by the standard to verify that recycled material production is “beyond business as usual”.

Entities from other stages may opt to become certified including companies that generate, collect, or sort materials.

Auditing Process

To achieve certification, participants will be required to undergo an audit from an accredited certification body and demonstrate conformance with the standard.  We will be building capacity within the audit community so that multiple certification bodies are able to provide this service. A list of currently accredited certification bodies is available here.

Chain of Custody

The chain of custody system specifies material management requirements along the full value chain in order to assure the accuracy and transparency of claims associated with recycled materials. The chain of custody system allows for claims to be made using either an average percentage method or mass balance allocation and includes traceability for both post-consumer and post-industrial sources.

You can learn more here.

RMS Labels

The Recycled Material Standard (RMS) plays a critical role in advancing the use of recycled materials. Companies that support these efforts will be eligible to use labels to identify products and packages that use recycled materials – or in the case of ARC purchases to demonstrate their support for investments in recycling.

RMS labels contain information about the type of materials used and whether the claim refers to the product or the packaging.  Inclusion of the RMSCertified website allows consumers to seek out additional information about the standard and the use of recycled materials.

We’ve learned through surveys with our How2Recycle program, that 85% of respondents say they are or might be more likely to purchase a product with the How2Recycle label and 61% have changed behaviors as a result of the label.  Simply put: labels can make a difference.