The Recycled Material Standard
Attributes of Recycled Content (ARCs)
The RMS has defined a new environmental commodity which we refer to as the Attributes of Recycled Content certificates, or simply ARCs. The ARC trading system has been modeled after other programs such as renewable energy certificates or carbon offsets.
This type of system is often used where material is not necessarily connected to the physical flow of materials or products across the value chain. These models are sometimes referred to as “book and claim,” “certificate trading” or “credit trading” systems.
Within the RMS, an ARC is defined as a claim associated with one metric ton of output produced from recycled input materials. The ARC is generated at the processor level and each ARC is tracked through an online registry system to assure no double counting.
ARCs can be purchased by any entity in the value chain but most likely brands, universities or governments aiming to meet established commitments.
The ARC system is focused on providing a finance mechanism to advance technology investment in both mechanical and chemical recycling facilities. To move recycling beyond business as usual, the standard includes a robust set of criteria modeled after additionality tests established for carbon trading. Companies purchasing ARCs will be able to demonstrate their support for investments in recycling technology.