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Recycled resources

Recycled content is the portion of a product that is made from recovered and recycled materials. Companies may use recycled content in their products for numerous reasons, including:

  • Reduce material costs
  • Minimize environmental impacts
  • Implement environmentally preferable purchasing policies
  • Satisfy consumer demand
  • Meet regulatory standards
  • Mitigate supply chain risks through diversification

You could also source recycled water by either treating it to higher quality or cascading the water down from potable functions to non-potable functions like irrigation or water closets.

Depending on the product and its function, there may be limits to the percentage of recycled content that can be used as a material input. Greater demand for recycled content (including by-products and secondary raw materials) is needed to create the economic pull for improved end-of-life collection and processing that supplies the recycled material.

Example

Stora Enso: Seven Lives of Paper

Paper can typically be recycled up to seven times. Stora Enso is one of the largest consumers of recycled paper in Europe, purchasing recycled paper for 26% of all fiber used in its mills. In fact, three of the company’s mills across Belgium, Germany and China use recycled paper for 100% of fiber inputs.

Store Enso recognizes the economic and environmental benefits of recycled paper as it improves material efficiency and contributes to corporate sustainability goals. Sourcing recycled paper requires cost-effective collection, sorting and de-inking. De-inking is a wash to remove ink from the paper, resulting in white paper pulp.

Stora Enso’s Langerbrugge Mill in Belgium produces over 500,000 tons of paper from recycled fibers per year. Beyond contributing to material efficiency, using recycled paper provides benefits like satisfying consumer preferences, diversifying fiber supply and differentiation from the competition.

Stora Enso further demonstrates its commitment to preserving natural resources by using 97% of the generated residuals and waste beneficially, for instance in agriculture, brick manufacturing, road construction and bio-energy production, and its commitment to sustainable forest management.