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Sustainable Purchasing Guides

Guides and resources that can help reduce the environmental impact of your organization’s purchasing choices.

The following Sustainable Purchasing Guides (SPGs) were designed to provide specific policy-driven product and service direction for more sustainable purchasing in a 2-page format that agency leads can use as a communication tool to agency staff who make purchasing decisions.  Each Sustainable Purchasing Guide contains:

What other types of environmentally preferable office supplies are available?

Look for rechargeable batteries, water-based and non-toxic highlighters and markers, and 10-100% postconsumer recycled content plastic trash bag liners. Plastic desktop accessories like notepad and pencil holders, trays and organizers can be made with 25-80% postconsumer content. Plastic binders can contain up to 100% postconsumer recycled content, depending on the type of plastic.

Will these types of products be inferior quality?

Many recycled or environmentally preferable products compare well in quality to their virgin counterparts. As with any product on the market, quality depends on several factors. For example, a commercial toilet tissue manufacturer may offer two levels of quality: an economy (lower quality) and a premium quality product. Quality may also depend on the product’s maturity in the market. The quality of recycled paper, for instance, has come a long way in the last 20 years. For the most part, its quality is just as high as that of virgin paper. 


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