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Executive Order 13101
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Executive Order 13101

Executive Order 13101 was signed by Clinton in 1998 as a follow-up to Executive Order 12873 to strengthen "buy-recycled" initiatives in the federal government. The new order eliminated the loopholes for availability and price, requiring copy and writing paper purchased to contain 30 percent post-consumer content when available, and mandating at leat 20 percent post-consumer content in all purchases.

Click here to see the full text of Executive Order 13101.


Compliance in federal agencies with buy-recycled laws has greatly improved over the years. For recycled copy paper, for example, compliance is up from a mere 12 percent in 1994 to 98 percent in 2000.

In a report prepared by the White House Task Force on Recycling in 2000, the following accomplishments in federal purchasing were highlighted:

  • Federal agencies and Government contractors now buy more than 50 types of recycled content products daily.
  • In 1997, government purchases of recycled content products exceeded $350 million, an increase of $112 million over the 1992 level.
  • Federal facilities have reported an almost 60 percent decrease in releases of toxic chemicals since 1994.

Please view the full text of Greening the Government: A report to the president on federal leadership and progress (this is a pdf file).

What is Still Needed

Despite these advances toward greening the government, much is still needed for federal agencies to be in full compliance for all recycled product catagories. A report put out by GAO in June 2001 sites the following as shortcomings in federal agencies green procurement:

  • lack of effective tracking and monitoring of purchases; and
  • insufficient awareness among procurement officials about recycled product procurement laws and methods.

View the full text of the report Federal Procurement: Better guidance and monitoring needed to assess purchases of environmentally friendly products in Adobe Acrobat.

The Government Purchasing Project is a project of the Center for Responsive Law.