Press Release

The Recycled Material Standard (RMS) Reaches Another Milestone

By: Laura Thompson

January 20, 2021


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — The RMS team would like to express their appreciation to everyone who took the time to read the standard and provide feedback through the public comment period. As a result of this important process, we received over 200 comments from more than 30 different organizations including several trade associations and environmental NGOs.

Submissions conveyed a broad range of perspectives on numerous topics. Some stakeholders expressed concerns that the standard may enable the development of chemical recycling technologies whereas others applauded the fact that it will. Some people shared views that post-industrial materials should not be certified whereas others would rather not see any sort of distinction between post-industrial and post-consumer sources.

While we are still working through each comment, thus far we have not come across any issue that we haven’t discussed as part of the standard’s development process. Our advisory committee was intentionally assembled from a diverse stakeholder group and we’ve had significant opportunity to discuss most (if not all) of these same issues before reaching the consensus-based approach presented in the standard.

The attention to detail and passion expressed reminds us of some of the challenges we collectively face. For example, we heard that a chain of custody process is “desperately needed in the recycling sector to eliminate bad actors” and “The RMS is an innovative approach and a valuable addition to the toolbox at hand to fight the plastic and waste problem the world faces”.

In addition to clarifying comments on the standard itself, we received numerous questions about why we wrote the standard the way we did. As is typical with standards, the documents are centered on the execution of the standard; i.e. the “how and the what” as opposed to conveying “the why”. To that end, we plan to offer deeper insights through a variety of channels. Interested parties can look forward to future blogs, presentations, and FAQs on the RMS website. Some of the major themes we hope to cover include:

  • Consumer labeling vs chain of custody claims
  • The exclusion of fuel as a recycled material
  • The inclusion of post-industrial materials as certified sources
  • The concept of environmental impacts from “excessive processing”
  • The rationale for using additionality principles to support ARC trading
  • Eligibility requirements for certification bodies
  • How the RMS will work (or may not) with other standards

Two presentations have been posted to the website to provide context on our approach, they can be found here. And, as always, we remain open to input and can be reached through the Contact Us form at

We look forward to rolling out the standard as we work collectively to advance the use of recycled materials.