Post Consumer waste in shopping bags
What goes into a recycling center must come back out or it is not truly serving its purpose. Thus, in the world of retail packaging, shopping bag legislation requires not just recycled content but recycled content that includes as much as 40% post consumer waste (PCW). Post consumer is the shopping bag that is recycled. Pre-consumer or post industrial waste is recycled material at the factory.
Municipalities want to be sure that the paper shopping bags that enter the recycling center find their way back to factories. That is now happening all over the world, so even in China, where they were at first slow to react to recycling requirements, bags are being recycled and sent back to factories for production.
Will bags made from post consumer waste cost more? Generally, yes, as there are more stops along the way as opposed to virgin paper that moves from the paper mill to the factory.
And make sure you test the bags for strength. You might want to consider heavier weight material to assure strength.
We will keep an eye out for upcoming legislation in retail packaging.