Thursday, August 20, 2009

30% Recycled Paper

I have been to the Photocopy room at my office and I noticed something different. My company changed the brand of our copy paper to the Staples brand. I happened to notice that we are now using a 30% recycled paper (see below).

Several Staples copy papers stacked.
I checked the Staples package further and found the 30% recycled mentioned everywhere.

At the back of the packaging, there are several choices of papers and I found that there are 4 choices for recycled papers:
1. Copy Paper - 30% recycled PCW (Post-Consumer Waste)
2. Copy Paper - 100% recycled PCW
3. Multipurpose Paper - 50% recycled PCW
4. Multipurpose Paper - 100% recycled PCW

Another good thing that they mention is that the package that they use is recyclable (see bottom right below).
(back - types of paper)

Also at the back of the Staples brand paper are some recycling information. It mentions that "The average American uses more than 655 pounds of paper every year." It also has a table that shows how recycled papers help the environment.

(back - recycled content info)
Here's what the table above says:
30% recycled paper
- 30% fewer trees used
- 13% less energy used
- 11% fewer greenhouse gas emissions
- 14% less water used

50% recycled paper
- 50% fewer trees used
- 19% less energy used
- 19% fewer greenhouse gas emissions
- 23% less water used

100% recycled paper
- 100% fewer trees used
- 42% less energy used
- 37% fewer greenhouse gas emissions
- 46% less water used

I never knew that my office use recycled paper since I only go to the Photocopy room occasionally and I don't print out a lot of documents. I also haven't noticed that the previous brand (Hammermill) that we were using was also a recycled paper (see below).

As you can see, even though there is a big recycling sign at the middle of the packaging, the 30% PCW can only be found at the bottom right and the sign is also small. Unlike the Staples brand, 'recycled paper' is not mentioned anywhere on the packaging. Some people might interpret the big recycling sign on the Hammermill brand as 'it can be recycled' instead of 'recycled paper.'

The Hammermill brand also shows its environment friendly side by giving a tip at the back of its packaging. It says "Planting a tree on Arbor Day helps ensure trees will be around for generations."

Should you decide to go recycled on your paper, look up the PCW percentage on the packaging. Also, when printing or photocopying, use both sides of the paper. It minimize waste and will also save you some money.


Daniel said...

Thank you so much for sharing it.
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