Press Release

Recycled Material Standard Launches Today, Helping to Advance the Use of Recycled Materials

By: The RMS Team

November 15, 2021

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, November 15, 2021 — After more than two years in development, GreenBlue and the Recycled Material Standard (RMS) team are proud to announce the official launch of the RMS and invite brands and suppliers in the plastics recycling value chain to pursue certification.  The RMS standard has been available for review since this spring, and as of today, those seeking certification can apply to the program, access a range of supporting documents, and connect with a certification body to pursue an audit – putting the RMS into action.

The RMS is truly the first of its kind in the recycled material certification space.  While there are standards in the marketplace that address some aspects of certifying recycled content, the RMS is the first standard that offers both average recycled content and mass balance allocation claims as well as a certificate trading system that channels investments where they are most needed – to the recycler.  This allows for targeted investments that will grow the supply and quality of available recycled materials.

The RMS affords unique flexibility for tracking and tracing the use of recycled materials in both mechanical and chemical recycling systems.  Additionally, through the purchase and trade of Attributes of Recycled Content (ARC) certificates, which operate similarly to Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), companies can invest directly in the recycling system.  Because certified recyclers are able to immediately generate ARCs, brands can begin purchasing and using credits, helping to expand the much needed supply of recycled materials.

“The RMS promises to be the most comprehensive standard available for North American plastics supply chain members,” notes Laura Thompson, Director of the RMS.  “When recyclers, converters and brands learn about the RMS, they understand the opportunity it provides to advance the use of recycled materials and help producers reduce their reliance on virgin plastics.”

The standard supports verification of both post-consumer and post-industrial plastics to enable a full and accurate accounting of the use of all types of recycled plastics.  The RMS also offers multi-site certification, which is an advantage for larger companies operating multiple locations in North America. 

“The RMS really reflects a solution to the challenges that we’ve been hearing from the plastics industry when it comes to meeting circularity goals,” states Nina Goodrich, Executive Director of GreenBlue, the parent organization that supported the development of the RMS.  “In honor of America Recycles Day, we are proud that this can be one of many tools that GreenBlue has developed to help industry advance their journeys in sustainability.” 

A copy of the standard, along with the plastics module and other supporting documents can be downloaded here

About the Recycled Material Standard

The Recycled Material Standard (RMS) enables participating brands and suppliers to celebrate their sustainability efforts that collectively advance the use of recycled materials. The standard establishes requirements necessary to assure the accuracy and transparency of claims with the support of a robust third-party certification system. Research has shown that one of the most prevalent packaging goals is to increase the use of post-consumer and/or post-industrial recycled materials to replace virgin feedstocks. Anticipating an increase in materials captured for recycling, the RMS has been developed to help advance the use of recycled materials. The RMS serves as a voluntary, market-based tool to address the challenges that brands, their suppliers, and the recycling industry face in trying to incorporate higher amounts of recycled content into packaging or finished products.

About GreenBlue

GreenBlue is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to the sustainable use of materials in society. Our mission is to promote the principles of sustainable materials management — use wisely, eliminate toxicity, and recover more. Through our projects, we achieve our goal by influencing the debate, enhancing supply chain collaboration, and creating action. GreenBlue is the parent nonprofit to The Sustainable Packaging Coalition, How2Recycle, CleanGredients, Forests in Focus, and other programs.