The U.S. Postal Service is the first is the only mailing or shipping company in the nation to achieve “Cradle to Cradle”SM Certification at the Silver level.
Postal Service mailing and shipping supplies already had exceeded government requirements, including recycled content standards from the EPA. Going beyond existing federal and state agency requirements was a goal in seeking certification.
Cradle to Cradle Certification is a scientifically based process that reviews specific criteria to assess the environmental attributes of materials used in products. In the review, 60 USPS packaging items were broken down into their 250 component materials. Some 1,400 individual ingredients in those component materials were further analyzed before the certification was made.
Based on the recycled content of the more than 500 million Express Mail and Priority Mail packages and envelopes the Postal Service provides its customers each year, more than 15,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent emissions (climate change gases) now will be prevented annually. Express Mail and Priority Mail boxes and envelopes also are 100 percent recyclable.
The USPS is requiring all 200 suppliers contributing to the manufacture of its envelopes and packages to complete a series of measurements and assessments of materials for human and environmental health.