Buying recycled-content paper provides the foundation for an environmentally sustainable paper production system. The first paper mill in the U.S. colonies, built near Philadelphia in 1690, was a recycling mill which made paper by recycling cotton and linen rags. Papermakers learned how to make paper from trees in the mid-1800s when forests & energy seemed unlimited, and air & water infinitely capable of cleansing and renewal. Today, we recognize the limits of resource demand and the necessity for environmentally sustainable production systems.
Why buy recycled-content paper:
- Performance - Recycled-content paper has excellent performance, meeting the same technical specifications as virgin papers. Successfully runs on most copiers, office machines and printing presses. High to moderate brightness levels and ranges from clean, bright whites to a wide palette of colors.
- Availability - Recycled-content paper is available in virtually every grade of paper. Choices are even greater if you order recycled paper ahead of time. It is either evenly priced with virgin paper or the price differentials are quite small. Buying in larger quantities and planning ahead further reduces or eliminates price premiums on recycled paper.
- Environment - Saves trees, energy, water, and landfill space compared to virgin paper. Protects forests, watersheds, and ecosystems and produces less pollution than virgin paper production. Offers environmental savings many times over, since fibers can be recycled repeatedly.
1 ton (20 cases) of 100% recycled content paper, versus paper using virgin wood, saves:
- 17 trees
- 7000 gallons of water
- 4100 kWh of energy, enough to power an average home for 6 months
- 60 pounds of air pollution
- 2.5 cubic yards of landfill space
Also look for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Chain-of-custody certificates. This means the trees used to make the paper were harvested from a sustainable forest.