Mother Earth Living

Recycled Paper for Commercial Use

Recycled paper for commercial use still isn't widely used even though it is available at office supply stores, and less than 20 percent of office wastepaper is recycled.
By Mother Earth Living staff
November/December 2003
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Why isn't recycled paper for commercial use being used more by businesses?
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As recycled paper for commercial use becomes more available, why aren't more businesses using it?

Recycled Paper for Commercial Use

The bad news

In the United States, the average office worker tears through more than 700 pounds of paper annually — about 13 pounds per week, reports Environmental DeĀ­fense. Unfortunately, recycled paper still isn’t widely used despite its availability at office supply stores. And less than 20 percent of U.S. office wastepaper is recovered for recycling, according to Recycled Paper Coalition (RPC).

The good news

This year, Kinko’s increased use of post-consumer fiber paper in its copy machines from 14 to 19 percent and aims to raise that to 30 percent soon. Staples has made a similar pledge. These changes significantly impact greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the number of trees lost for paper consumption, and conserve energy and water. Also, Kinko’s now sells Environment Ultra Bright White brand paper made by Neenah, which contains at least 20 percent Forest Stewardship Council-certified fiber with the remainder as post-consumer fiber.

Help out

Support Kinko’s and other retailers such as Staples, Office Max, and Office Depot that use or sell recycled paper. For information about paper recycling, including links to suppliers, visit RPC or the Buy Recycled Business Alliance website.

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