Pre- and post-consumer waste: a different impact

Measuring the life-cycle environment footprint of a product is quite crucial for companies committed
to circular economy principles. When it comes to the carbon footprint of products with recycled
content two definitions usually spring to mind: pre-consumer waste recycling (PRE-cw); and post-
consumer waste recycling (PCW).

The former are the discarded or unused material that never reaches the final consumer – for
example, in our sector, scraps from paper production. The latter, on the other hand, are the
materials discarded after use.

This distinction is relevant to the ultimate carbon footprint of a product, resulting from the very
recycling process the waste undergoes to be used, which in the case of post-consumer waste is a
mandatory step.

Fedrigoni has always promoted an approach favoring PRE-cw (as opposed to POST-cw) recycling
within its papers. Why? Not only to protect papers’ technical performance, but also because PRE-
cw, being reused without undergoing any treatment aimed at recycling, does not count towards the
carbon footprint of the product.

Let’s talk about it in this Bit on Sustainability.

Bits on Sustainability are written by Fedrigoni’s Sustainability Team.


Bit #5: Pre-consumer waste recycling