Recycled materials

The FSC Recycled label was introduced in order to recognise the important role that recycling paper and timber plays in protecting the world’s forests. Unlike general ‘recycled’ claims, which require no verification, the FSC Recycled label provides assurance that all the wood or paper in a product has been verified as genuinely reclaimed or recycled. Reclaimed materials can also be used in products carrying the FSC Mix label.

Reclaimed paper (c) Arjowiggins

What does the FSC Recycled label mean? Was it originally from an FSC-certified forest?

Wood products carrying the FSC Recycled label have been verified by a third party certification body as being made from at least 70% post-consumer reclaimed materials, i.e. wood and or wood fibre that has been reclaimed from a product after that product has been used for its intended purpose by individuals or businesses. The remaining material must be verified as pre-consumer waste.

Paper products can contain any balance of pre-consumer and post-consumer reclaimed material as long as all applicable parts of the product are verified as reclaimed. The FSC Recycled label is not, however, a guarantee that the wood originally comes from an FSC-certified forest.

Is it better to choose recycled or virgin products?

Recycling paper and wood products not only makes the best use of the yield of the tree (by extending the life span of its fibres), it also reduces the amount of waste going to landfill sites. The use of FSC Recycled paper and timber can help to alleviate the pressure of demand on sources of virgin material, thereby helping to protect the world’s forests.

It is likely there will always be a need for virgin timber and pulp, as demand for timber products remains high and the life span of recycled fibres for use in paper manufacture is limited.

By giving the forest economic value, FSC certification can help to ensure its future and, through responsible management, the wildlife and people who depend on the forest can thrive. Using FSC-certified pulp and timber helps to ensure that the use of virgin material does not damage the world’s forests. FSC recognises the role both FSC virgin and recycled paper and timber products play in the protection of the world’s forests.

Reclaimed timber at RHS Chelsea Flower Show (c) Ashwells

Ashwells Reclaimed Timber

Responsible designers choose recycled tropical timber

During colonial times tropical hardwoods such as Greenheart, Jarrah, Ekki and Keuring were imported into the UK from Africa, Australia, Central America, and British Guyana, for use primarily in marine construction. Due to the climate tropical hardwoods grow in, the grain is extremely dense giving it unmatched durability and stability. 

Today, Ashwells reclaim these timbers and repurpose for future use in an FSC certified process that prevents further deforestation, saves energy and protects architectural history.

As an FSC-certified reclaimed timber supplier, Ashwells provides a transparent and traceable chain of custody for all its hardwood and softwood timber products, whatever the source. Ashwells Reclaimed Timber works with architects and designers across the UK, helping them to achieve sustainability goals by increasing the use of reclaimed hardwoods within projects.

Ashwells Reclaimed Timber hold FSC chain of custody certification.


Experts in FSC-certified pulp

Arjowiggins produce papers with industry leading levels of whiteness through a unique de-inking process pioneered by their Greenfield mill, experts in manufacturing FSC-certified recycled pulp, with approximately 20% of paper waste collected from UK sources. The recycled pulp production process uses a multi-stage cleaning process and uses biodegradable cleaners and chlorine free bleaches.

Arjowiggins adopted the FSC system because it believes it is the most credible way of assuring customers that the pulp used comes from sustainable sources. The company believes FSC Recycled pulp meets the needs of the environmentally conscious consumer by recycling and re-using post-consumer waste paper, avoiding landfill and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Arjowiggins hold FSC chain of custody certification and manufacture and trade FSC Recycled and FSC Mix paper products.

Recycled paper © Arjowiggins