Pre-consumer versus Post-consumer waste

Pre-consumer versus Post-consumer waste

With growing pressure on both businesses and consumers to embrace sustainability, one might be left feeling confused with where to go from here. We’ve certainly noticed that there seems to be a lot of products in the market today with many making claims that they are products made from recycled material and therefore contributing to the 2025 National Packaging Target (NPT).

What is important to distinguish is that products made from pre-consumer waste do NOT contribute to the 2025 NPT. However, products made from POST-consumer waste certainly do.

Below is a quick summary of the key differences between pre and post consumer waste.

Pre-consumer waste Post-consumer waste
1. Source Waste typically generated by internal manufacturer’s operations (eg. Offcuts). Waste generated typically by end market use (outside manufacturer’s operations).
2. 2025 NPT Does not contribute to 2025 targets. Contributes to 2025 targets.
3. Environmental impact Manufacturers will recycle and reuse them anyway as part of their operational efficiency measures to reduce production costs. If not recovered and recycled, this post-consumer recycled waste typically goes to landfill which generates greenhouse gas emissions. It also represents waste of economic resources that could be repurposed.
4. Recycling Does not require washing line and substantial capital expenditure to recycle this waste. Different ways to recycle this depending on a number of factors:

  • Mechanical recycling (most preferred)
  • Advanced recycling (where soft plastics waste mix are extremely difficult to sort)

We believe that it’s important to understand the facts and these differences before deciding on your sustainable packaging. If you’d like to find out more about how Thinkpac can help you achieve a more sustainable workplace or home, click here and one of our friendly team members will get in touch with you.

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