The FSC program first began recognizing recycled content in Chain of Custody (CoC) claim systems in 2004.  The  standard FSC-STD-40-007 was introduced to define the protocols and recycled inputs shortly became an important part of the supply chain for FSC-certified paper products.  One key attribute of the 40-007 standard is the distinction between Pre- and Post-consumer recycled categories.  Both are allowed, but only the Post-consumer content can be “counted” towards certified content.

FSC-STD-40-007 has long been my favorite FSC standard document for the simple reason that it is – by far – the most simple and straightforward.  Although the current version runs to 11 pages when printed, the key provision (those that apply to all companies) take up little more than a page.  They are concise, well written, and simple.

Now all that may be about to change.  And best of all, it might be getting even simpler.

The FSC Policy and Standards Unit (PSU) is currently circulating a discussion paper which recommends further consolidating and simplifying the FSC Recycled content standard by eliminating the distinction between Pre- and Post-consumer categories.  You can find the details here, along with a form for submitting comment.  The discussion paper – though a bit long – has an excellent executive summary that includes all the key points.  I recommend support for this sensible proposal.

For those (like me) who often have trouble finding time to submit written comments to forums like this, here is another option.  FSC-US is circulating an online survey form here.  I just completed it – it took less than 5 minutes.  Simple.