FSC® Certified and Recycled Paper

What are the statistics of paper consumption in the U.S.?

The U.S. is the largest market for paper products in the world, producing 90 million tons of paper annually. In turn, the U.S. consumes about 100 million tons per year. In 2012, recycling awareness led to 65% of domestic paper being recycled. This collection effort and the use of post-consumer pulp resulted in recycled paper making up 33% of the nation’s paper making materials. Wood chips and sawmill scraps account for another 33%, with the remaining third coming from whole trees and other plants. Approximately 25% of recovered fiber is exported out of U.S. markets. Roughly 25% by volume of timber cut annually in the U.S. is used for paper production.

Why buy FSC® certified paper?

brochures printed on FSC® paperFSC® certification allows companies and consumers interested in environmentally and socially responsible materials to be confident in their purchasing decisions. Buying products that carry the FSC® certified label is your guarantee a product comes from a forest evaluated against rigorous environmental and social standards. From a customer perspective, the FSC® label represents a promise that is being made to them. Chain of custody standards are the mechanism FSC® has to ensure that "promise" is delivered. Your purchase of FSC® certified paper and print products contribute to conservation, responsible management, and community level benefits for people near the forests that provide your paper.

What is FSC® certified paper?

FSC® promotional panelFSC® Chain of Custody certified paper means that paper contains wood from well managed forests certified in accordance with the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council®. The main objective to FSC® Chain of Custody certification is to ensure that FSC® certified material is tracked through the production process. In this way, end customers are able to select FSC® certified products knowing there is a system in place to verify the sourcing of the wood.

FSC® Chain of Custody Requirements

  • Quality System Control

  • Wood Sourcing

  • Productions and Records

  • FSC® Products and Labels

  • Documentation of the Chain of Custody

Recycled Paper

A recycled paper by definition is reprocessing waste paper fibers back into a usable paper product. Paper suitable for reuse or recycling is called scrap paper. Each of the three arrows represents one step in a three-step process that forms the recycling loop. The first step is collection of materials to be recycled. The collected materials are sorted for sale to manufacturing facilities. The manufacturing process is the second arrow in the recycling symbol. The recycled materials are manufactured into new products for sale. The third step is the purchase and used of the products made from the recycled materials. The loop is now complete. There are three basic types of recycled waste, and it is their proportions in the paper mix that determines the environmental credentials.

Post Consumer Waste

This is waste that has outlived its life cycle. It has been rescued from the waste bins of businesses, homes, schools and institutions, and diverted land fields. Typically, post-consumer waste includes cardboard, newspapers, magazines, stationery, and other assorted papers. This waste can be put to good use, producing newsprint, cardboard and other products. However, to produce fine paper with post-consumer waste the waste must contain only fine paper.

Pre-Consumer Waste

Also known as post-commercial waste, this type of waste is usually found in paper converters' and printers' waste bins. It might contain unsold paper, including magazines and newspapers, trim from envelopes and binding from merchants, retailers and wholesalers.

Mill Waste

Waste is also collected from paper mills and reintroduced into the papermaking process.

Why buy recycled paper?

We should buy recycled paper because over 90% of paper made in America is still made from trees. For every 20 cases of recycled paper substituted for non recycled paper, you save 17 trees, 390 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, and 4,100 kwh of energy. You will eliminate 60 pounds of air polluting emissions and save 8 cubic feet of landfill space. That is a BIG benefit for changing to a product that is as good as the product you use now.

See also:

Going Green

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