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Green scene

Apr 1, 2007 12:00 AM

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A vast amount of paper is consumed in the U.S. printing industry, and demand for recycled papers is on the rise. Early recycled paper grades faced criticism on myriad fronts. The paper mills have responded by advancing their technology to deliver high-quality recycled sheets. They are participating in environmental initiatives such as Forest Stewardship Council certification, while printers and publishers are making environmental commitments of their own.

For example, Scholastic Inc. (New York) has announced that all 12 million copies of the U.S. edition of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will be printed on 30 percent post-consumer waste (pcw) paper. Sixty-five percent of the 16,700 tons of paper used in the U.S. first printing will be FSC certified. This marks the largest purchase of FSC-certified paper to be used in the printing of a single book title. And they're doing it all without magic.

xpedx earns SFI and FSC certification

xpedx (Loveland, OH) recently became the first North American paper merchant to receive national Chain-of-Custody certifications for both the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The xpedx certification enables United States printers to access third-party certified printing papers to meet growing customer demand. The SFI certification is for all coated and uncoated papers, and the FSC certification is for writing, text, cover and all coated papers.

All xpedx distribution centers and retail stores across the United States are Chain-of-Custody certified, as well as its online operation.

Separately, xpedx has launched a service to help United States commercial and in-plant printers attain Chain-of-Custody certification for both SFI and FSC. Working with auditor Bureau Veritas Certification, xpedx will facilitate dual certification for printers.

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Green-e certification

Mohawk Fine Paper's (Cohoes, NY) Windpower Portfolio offers a wide range of environmentally sound papers. All of the grades in the Windpower Portfolio are manufactured using Green-e-certified renewable, wind-generated electricity, and all of the recycled papers meet or exceed the EPA guidelines for recycled papers. Mohawk's Windpower Portfolio includes Strathmore, Beckett Expression, Mohawk Options, Mohawk Via and Mohawk Color Copy.

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Green x 3

Combining a 30 percent post-consumer fiber with a 96 brightness, Boise Presentation Laser paper runs just as well and looks as good as a non-recycled sheet. The paper is said to provide good toner adhesion when used in laser printers, color copiers and monochromatic printers. Available in 8.5 × 11-inch size, the 24-lb. office paper carries a laser guarantee and is offered as a recycled option for important documents.

First name in skiing…

Boise Aspen 100 is an environmentally friendly, high-performance office paper. Through an independently certified method, Aspen 100 is made of 100 percent post-consumer fiber that has been processed without the use of chlorine or chlorine compounds. It shares the same high brightness and performance as non-recycled papers. Available nationwide in four cut-sheet sizes, Aspen 100 is laser guaranteed and features a 92 brightness rating and a 2-lb. basis weight. Schools, universities, government agencies, environmental organizations and “green” businesses reportedly will find multiple uses for Aspen 100 in all of their office equipment.

…and in environmentally friendly office paper

Boise Aspen 50 complies with the U.S. Department of Defense mandate for purchasing copier paper that contains 50 percent post-consumer content. This 92 brightness, 20-lb. premium office paper is developed to Boise's highest quality standards to maintain consistent runnability in copiers, printers and fax machines. Boise Aspen 50 is available in 8.5 × 11-inch size with 50 percent post-consumer fiber.

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Buy paper online

The Paper Mill Store (TPMS) offers the largest selection of FSC-certified paper and envelopes online. Visitors may choose from FSC products manufactured by Neenah, Fox River, Finch, SMART Papers, Mohawk Fine Papers and more. TPMS is an FSC-certified company and uses wind power for 100 percent of its energy needs.

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First foray into green paper

Canon U.S.A. (Lake Success, NY) has introduced its first 100 percent recycled paper offering, Genuine Color Awareness, a 28-lb. bond with a 92-brightness rating. It comes in three sizes: letter, ledger and full-bleed. Other Canon Recycled Papers in the product line include: Genuine Awareness Paper, 20-lb. bond/30 percent post-consumer content; and Genuine Color Awareness Paper, 24-lb. bond/30 percent post-consumer content.

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Top environmental paper supplier

UPM (Helsinki, Finland) has been named the top environmental supplier of paper by Time Inc. In the magazine publisher's annual review of the environmental performance of its paper suppliers, UPM received the highest score.

Time Inc. holds its suppliers accountable for environmental performance through an annual review using a sustainable development report card. It covers: forestry practices; manufacturing; energy and waste; global issues and reporting; environmental performance indicators; and people. The 2006 report card notes that among Time Inc.'s paper suppliers, UPM is “efficiency focused” and has the highest level of certified wood fiber from sustainably managed forestland.

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Line boasts over 20 environmental grades

Domtar EarthChoice is a comprehensive line of environmentally responsible papers with 22 distinct paper grades and more than 850 SKUs. All Domtar EarthChoice products are FSC-certified, and most have recycled content. FSC is the only international forest management standard supported by more than 80 environmental groups.

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Paper is now process chlorine-free

Neenah Paper has obtained Process Chlorine Free (PCF) certification from the Chlorine Free Products Assn. (CFPA) for 100 percent post-consumer fiber papers in the Classic and Environment paper brands. The papers are made without chlorine compounds, and they now carry the PCF emblem.

In other news, Neenah Paper recently was named to the EPA's Green Power Partnership in recognition of its green power purchases.

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Green packaging

Continental Packaging Solutions (Chicago) has introduced green packaging in the form of polyactic acid (PLA), a corn-based material that can be turned into compost after use. PLA holds the same appearance as PET, it can be run in the same molds, and it works in thermoforming and injection molding processes. There is no need for new tooling to accommodate this technology. PLA is said to be ideal for oil-based products.

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Sustaining the environment

International Paper's (Memphis, TN) business depends on the sustainability of the forest, and the company is committed to protecting forest and other natural resources while producing the products its customers want and need. The company's “Sustaining the Environment” promotion details its dedication to sustainability, forest certification, environmental conservation and recycling.

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It's easy being green

When first introduced, recycled paper was inferior to virgin pulp in price, quality and performance. As Americans continue to recycle more paper and socially responsible purchasing practices fuel demand, recycled fiber has improved in those three areas, dramatically in some cases. Coupled with environmentally friendly options for virgin pulp that isn't just marketing-speak, printers and print buyers have many high-quality “green” paper options available.

Charles Pickett offers a glossary of terms and explores the pros, cons and future of recycled papers in “It's easy being green,” March 2006, pg. 52. See for this and related articles.