Is FSC Certified Different From Recycled Packaging?

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FSC-certified is different from recycled packaging. An FSC certification indicates that a business, product, or packaging passed the audit and maintained the standards upheld by the Forest Stewardship Council. Recycling, on the other hand, refers to converting waste into new materials. This knowledge will help you identify the suitable packaging materials you can use for your product.

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Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Packoi Team

In this article, you’ll learn about 2 types of paper for packaging. One is FSC-certified paper, and the other is recycled paper. You’ll get a better understanding of how these two differ and which of the two will suit your specific packaging requirements.

What Is FSC-Certified Paper?

A paper that’s FSC-certified is a material that the Forest Stewardship Council® has deemed to be responsibly sourced from FSC-certified forests. The certification happens after a third-party certification body audits a company. The goal is to prove they have complied with FSC standards and principles to protect the world’s forests. This is to ensure that forests around the globe remain socially and economically beneficial to the supply chain network.

The connotation of FSC

The FSC® is an organization that environment enthusiasts and businesspeople in 1993 formed. The purpose of this is to promote sustainable forestry practices. They do this by allowing companies to pursue voluntary certification to participate in the global effort to care for the world’s forests.

Among the certification that the FSC provides is the Chain of Custody certification. This proves that every step in creating FSC-certified products complies with the standards of the FSC.

So a paper with an FSC label means it was sourced, created, and distributed in an environmentally friendly manner. Whether the paper is made from new virgin wood pulp or recycled wood fibers, they all pass the standards of the FSC.

What Are The Qualities of A Paper That’s FSC-Certified?

When paper products are certified by the FSC, they can use the FSC logo. It certifies that the paper was sourced responsibly from FSC-certified forests. If the paper holds a Chain of Custody certification, the company followed sustainable forestry practices. It also means they tracked the paper’s sourcing, production, and distribution to ensure that every step passed the FSC standards.

The FSC-certified label has 3 different types.

  • FSC 100% label means the paper uses 100% wood sourced from responsibly managed forests.
  • FSC Recycled label means the paper uses recycled wood fibers from reclaimed or reused products.
  • FSC Mix label means the paper uses materials that are not wholly from FSC-certified forests but are still responsibly sourced.

Make sure the paper you’ll use or source has the correct certification label so you can incorporate it in the design of your final product and packaging.

A packing carton with FS certification mark

What Is Recycled Paper?

Recycled eco-friendly paper is formed using waste paper. This refers to old paper, newspaper, cardboard, or other products that people have thrown away. Instead of letting them end up in landfills, waste paper is processed into recycled materials that can be used for another purpose.

The process of recycling paper is generally the same.

The waste paper is taken to be sorted at MRF or materials recovery facilities. The facility workers put similar paper products together while removing items that couldn’t be recycled, like plastic bags, diapers, and other contaminants.

Once they are grouped, the waste paper is baled and taken to a paper mill, which is processed into new paper products.

Approximately 1.2 tons of waste paper is needed to produce 1 ton of recycled paper.

What Sets Recycled Paper Apart?

Using recycled paper products can be an effective way to attract the attention of your environment-friendly customers. With the spotlight trained on greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, deforestation, and other environmental issues, it’s normal for people to want to take part in solving the problem.

Most of these people would choose to support more eco-friendly companies.

So your efforts to use any recycled material won’t go unnoticed. Your customers will appreciate what you’re doing, and they won’t hesitate to support you.

This could even catalyze more robust customer loyalty to your brand.

Should All Recycled Paper Be FSC-Certified?

Using recycled materials carrying the FSC Recycled label will be an essential factor. It will assure customers that your eco-friendly paper is made of FSC-certified wood fibers. That means the forests from which the wood is taken are well-managed and not in danger of deforestation.

While having FSC-certified packaging is ideal, it’s not compulsory. 

You are free to use FSC-certified materials and combine them with recycled ones. Both of them will surely be appreciated by your customers.

The sign of paper recycling

Why Use Paper That’s FSC-Certified?

The main benefit of having FSC certification is it allows you to incorporate sustainable forest management in your eco-friendly campaign. After all, recycling seems like the most common way to be more eco-friendly. If your customers know that you’re using FSC-certified wood, they’ll be impressed.

If you can top that with a Chain of Custody certification, it’ll show your customers you’re serious about your efforts. 

They know that you want to protect forests and ensure the whole process of creating your eco-friendly paper is sustainable.

Who Should Get FSC-Certified?

The Forest Stewardship Council offers voluntary certification to 4 groups: manufacturers, retail companies, architects and property experts, and forest managers. To get the FSC certification, they have to get in touch with an authorized third-party certification body.

Once they become FSC-certified, they can use the FSC labels and logo to prove their certification.

Let’s look closer at those who can get certified by the FSC.


Paper manufacturers can get a chain of custody certification to show their customers that the supply chain that their product goes through is sustainable. That means the forest where the wood fibers are taken from, the paper production methods, and the way the products are distributed adhere to the strict standards that allow them to be FSC-certified.

When a manufacturer gets the Chain of Custody FSC certification, they can use the FSC label on their products. It’s not just them. Even their customers can put it on their final product that their products are FSC-certified.

This is good because it makes paper products more appealing. The manufacturer can get more clients because of this.

Retail Brands

Research shows that customers have no problems changing their purchasing behavior in favor of companies that practice sustainability. So if retail brands can show customers how they only use FSC-certified materials, it could help them gain more customers. Or if they use FSC-certified packaging, their market will immediately know of the advocacies they support.

Getting an FSC certification is a good idea for retail brands. It’s not just about supporting sustainably managed forests.

When they show the FSC logo, customers will be curious about it. They’ll be encouraged to understand what it means, leading them to seek information about responsibly managed forests.

Products with a distinct fsc certification mark

Architects, Builders, Project Developers, Etc.

Since wood products are used extensively in buildings and properties, those in that industry will benefit from having an FSC certification for their materials. Building projects can apply for certification to show they are committed to practicing forest-friendly methods.

An FSC project certification requires a specific system. This can guide all the professionals and workers involved in the project so their methods and project outputs can meet the standards set by the FSC.

Forest Managers

A forest management certification will help businesses identify forests from which they can get raw materials. After all, companies who want to practice sustainability would prefer to search for responsibly managed forests.

The FSC is globally known for sustainable forestry. It’ll help businesses and manufacturers narrow their search and partner with the best supplier for their paper and packaging requirements.

Are You Looking for An FSC-Certified Paper? Packoi Printing Can Help.

If you want to practice sustainability, using recycled paper and packaging is an excellent way to show your customers you’re serious about it. Implementing eco-friendly methods is a great way to help your business thrive and attract more customers.

But if you want to be even more impressive, use FSC-certified paper. Whether it’s for your packaging or raw material for your product, look for those carrying the FSC label.

It would help if you also chose to partner with an FSC-certified manufacturer.

At Packoi Printing, we are serious about being eco-friendly and keeping our methods sustainable. This is why we have every intention of keeping our FSC certification.

So if you want to get FSC-certified materials, give us a call. We can discuss your requirements so we can provide them for you.

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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