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What Do PCR and FSC Mean?

As the beauty industry ramps up its eco-conscious efforts, so do our Google searches attempting to figure out what these green terms mean. While we applaud any and all efforts to remain educated, we do recognize that the sustainability world is a large, somewhat confusing one to tackle, especially because yes—greenwashing is a thing. A good place to start is to take a microscope to our shopping habits—namely, the single-use packaging surrounding some of our go-to purchases, from spinach to coffee cups to skincare.

From the start, Versed has been committed to creating sustainably-minded skincare products, starting with creating a vegan-only line that is 40% recyclable through curbside programs. Having the ability to manufacture packaging that is actually made from eco-conscious materials has been a priority for us and something we’ve been working hard to bring to our shelves. That’s why we’re so thrilled to announce our newly launched Guards Up SPF as the first of many Versed products to be made using PCR and FSC-certified packaging.

So what do these terms actually mean? Here’s everything to know about PCR and FSC and why you should add these types of products to your shopping cart. 


Or, post consumer recycled plastic, is exactly what it sounds like. When we recycle a product, where does it go? Its materials are broken down and can be reused to make new skincare products, eliminating the waste it’d create if it simply went to decompose in a landfill (which, by the way, can take hundreds of years). Virgin plastic, on the other hand, is brand new and costs the Earth a whole lot more. “For example, the carbon footprint of manufacturing 100% PCR Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), like in a water bottle, is 60% lower than virgin PET (yes, that includes all the energy to collect, recycle, and remanufacture the plastic)”, Huffpost reports.


Versed HQ is on track to save over 9,000 pounds of virgin plastic this year alone by manufacturing new products using PCR and, over the next year, will be transitioning any items that can be made with it. What can you do to help? Recycle! We can’t make products using PCR if there aren’t materials to source from, so make sure you are doing your part. 


Did you know that deforestation and forest degradation are the second leading cause of carbon pollution? Forests are also an invaluable resource, as they filter our air and water supply and house nearly 50% of our planet’s wildlife. Of course, we rely on trees for many other things too—like making paper, creating clothing, and even sourcing medicine. The average American uses up 6 trees annually. Our supply isn’t endless, however. The Forest Steward Council’s (FSC) job is to help protect our forests, one way being through their certification. A product that is FSC-certified has been vetted by this council and ensured that its paper was sourced in an ethically responsible manner by not using hazardous chemicals, disturbing indigenous cultures, endangering environments that are considered rare, and more.

We’ve begun transitioning all our paper packaging to using only FSC-certified paper. It’s important to know that while this doesn’t mean the paper is recycled, it is recyclable—so always recycle the paper packaging many Versed products arrive in.

Interested in more sustainability education? Check out our guide to understanding the difference between biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable.