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Recycled Content

You can make recycled content claims in your listings only if your items contain materials that have been recovered or diverted from the waste stream either:

  • during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer waste such as steel, paper, or fabric scraps); or

  • after consumer use (post-consumer waste such as plastic bottles, glass containers, metal cans).

Tips for describing your recycled content

  • Be clear and specific about the amount of recycled content in your items. If your items are only partially made from recycled content, then specify this in the listing description accordingly. For instance, you can say that your item is “made from 30% recycled material.”

  • Place your claims clearly in the listing description to avoid any confusion. Refrain from using broad and vague terms that have a potential to mislead your buyers (such as “environmentally friendly” or “eco-friendly”).

  • Various countries regulate deceptive environmental claims. The standards for recycled materials may differ for each country, and it’s up to you to ensure that you comply with all local laws and regulations for the markets you serve. We recommend you speak with a qualified expert for advice if you’re making recycled content claims.

Recycled, reclaimed, and reused content

Be mindful of the difference between recycled content, and reclaimed or reused content. Here’s how you can identify these easily:

  • Recycled content: When pre-consumer and/or post-consumer waste is used as raw material in the manufacturing of new products, those products contain recycled content. For example, if you use polyester fiber made from post-consumer recycled PET bottles to make a t-shirt, your item contains recycled content.

  • Reclaimed or reused content: Contrary to recycled content, reclaimed or reused content is not broken down by machine processing and then transformed into a new product. Reclaimed or reused content refers to materials that have been retrieved from their original application and repurposed for new use, such as reclaimed wood or repurposed vintage clothing. For example, you can strip flooring from an old barn and reuse it as picture frames for your home, or cut your old set of pajamas and repurpose them as quilting squares. During both of these processes, there are minimal changes made to the original materials—length adjustments, re-sewing, refinishing—but no recycling takes place.

Standards and regulations for environmental claims

Though not exhaustive, regional resources on some of the standards and regulations on recycled content and environmental claims are listed below.







  • ISO 14021:2016
    This standard specifies requirements for self-declared environmental claims, including recycled content claims. Read a brief summary of the standard here. For guidance on other sustainability attributes you can disclose, read more here.

Note: This article does not constitute legal advice and is for information purposes only. Etsy is not able to say with certainty that all third-party resources are up to date or accurate.

Last updated on Feb 1, 2018