California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Plastics Recycling

Recycled Plastic Products

Recycled plastic is the end product of plastic recycling, and is produced in nearly every variety as new ("virgin") plastic.

"Buy Recycled" programs are those that encourage or require consumers to purchase recycled products. In the case of plastic, buy recycled programs are essential to increase the economy of scale for recycled plastic production so that recycled plastic can compete on a "level playing field" with new plastic.

CalRecycle Programs

Plastic Trash Bag Program. California’s trash bag law requires plastic trash bag manufacturers to use a specific amount of plastic postconsumer material to produce the trash bags sold in California.

Rigid Plastic Packaging Containers (RPPC). CalRecycle oversees the Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act of 1991, which requires that RPPCs meet one of several criteria designed to reduce the amount of plastic being landfilled. CalRecycle maintains a manufacturers’ certification program, encourages market development, and conducts outreach activities promoting recycling of plastics.

Recycled Plastic Lumber. Information on how RPL is manufactured, what it can be used for, the different types and specifications, testing methods, and resources for purchasing and getting additional information.

Recycled-Content Product Database. CalRecycle's Recycled-Content Product database contains listings of recycled plastic products (and other recycled products) available from suppliers at various levels of the consumer product chain (e.g., manufacturer, converter, distributor) throughout the United States.

Other Web Sites

Comprehensive Procurement Guideline for Plastic Products (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). This Web site provides information about recycled plastic procurement guidelines for the Federal government. The recycled-content standards in the guidelines are commonly used by private businesses throughout the U.S.  Includes the actual recommended recovered fiber/postconsumer fiber content ranges for a wide variety of plastic and plastic products. 

CalRecycle Publications

Buy Recycled Publications: This Web page lists all of the CalRecycle's publications addressing recycled plastic (as well as other recycled products).

Other Publications

Official Recycled Products Guide (RPG): The RPG is the most comprehensive listing of recycled products in the country. It lists products both by the specific type of product and by the type of secondary materials used to manufacture them. Includes numerous plastic/plasticboard products. The RPG is published by Recycling Data Management Corporation, PO Box 577, Ogdensburg, NY 13669-0577; (800) 267-0707

Last updated: January 18, 2011
Plastic Recycling http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Plastics/
Contacts: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Plastics/Contacts.htm