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Subpart 11.3—Acceptable Material

11.301  Definitions.

As used in this subpart—

“Postconsumer material” means a material or finished product that has served its intended use and has been discarded for disposal or recovery, having completed its life as a consumer item. Postconsumer material is a part of the broader category of “recovered material.” For paper and paper products, postconsumer material means “postconsumer fiber” defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as—

(1) Paper, paperboard, and fibrous materials from retail stores, office buildings, homes, and so forth, after they have passed through their end-usage as a consumer item, including: used corrugated boxes; old newspapers; old magazines; mixed waste paper; tabulating cards; and used cordage; or

(2) All paper, paperboard, and fibrous materials that enter and are collected from municipal solid waste; but not

(3) Fiber derived from printers’ over-runs, converters’ scrap, and over-issue publications.

“Recovered material” for paper and paper products, is defined by EPA in its Comprehensive Procurement Guideline as “recovered fiber” and means the following materials:

(1) Postconsumer fiber.

(2) Manufacturing wastes such as—

(i) Dry paper and paperboard waste generated after completion of the papermaking process (that is, those manufacturing operations up to and including the cutting and trimming of the paper machine reel into smaller rolls or rough sheets) including: envelope cuttings, bindery trimmings, and other paper and paperboard waste resulting from printing, cutting, forming, and other converting operations; bag, box, and carton manufacturing wastes; and butt rolls, mill wrappers, and rejected unused stock; and

(ii) Repulped finished paper and paperboard from obsolete inventories of paper and paperboard manufacturers, merchants, wholesalers, dealers, printers, converters, or others.

11.302  Policy.

(a) Agencies must not require virgin material or supplies composed of or manufactured using virgin material unless compelled by law or regulation or unless virgin material is vital for safety or meeting performance requirements of the contract.

(b)(1) When acquiring other than commercial items, agencies must require offerors to identify used, reconditioned, or remanufactured supplies; or unused former Government surplus property proposed for use under the contract. These supplies or property may not be used in contract performance unless authorized by the contracting officer.

(2) When acquiring commercial items, the contracting officer must consider the customary practices in the industry for the item being acquired. The contracting officer may require offerors to provide information on used, reconditioned, or remanufactured supplies, or unused former Government surplus property proposed for use under the contract. The request for the information must be included in the solicitation, and to the maximum extent practicable must be limited to information or standards consistent with normal commercial practices.

(c)(1) When the contracting officer needs additional information to determine whether supplies meet minimum recovered material or biobased standards stated in the solicitation, the contracting officer may require offerors to submit additional information on the recycled or biobased content or related standards. The request for the information must be included in the solicitation. When acquiring commercial items, limit the information to the maximum extent practicable to that available under normal commercial practices.

(2) For biobased products, the contracting officer may require vendors to provide information on life cycle costs and environmental and health benefits in accordance with 7 CFR 2902.8.

11.303  Special requirements for printing and writing paper.

(a) Section 505 of Executive Order 13101, Greening the Government through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition, establishes minimum recovered material content standards for agency purchases of printing and writing paper. Section 505 requires that 100 percent of an agency’s purchases of printing and writing paper must meet or exceed one of the minimum content standards specified in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) For high-speed copier paper, offset paper, forms bond, computer printout paper, carbonless paper, file folders, white wove envelopes, writing and office paper, book paper, cotton fiber paper, and cover stock, the minimum content standard must be no less than 30 percent postconsumer materials. If paper containing 30 percent postconsumer material is not reasonably available, does not meet reasonable performance requirements, or is only available at an unreasonable price, then the agency must purchase paper containing no less than 20 percent postconsumer material.

11.304  Contract clause.

Insert the clause at 52.211-5, Material Requirements, in solicitations and contracts for supplies that are not commercial items.


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