Paper: Meet Your Maker

Contrary to popular belief, sustainable paper doesn’t have to break your budget. True, there are some niche-marked recycled papers that have a high price tag – but for the vast majority of projects, we know that these (often) budget-busting papers aren’t always necessary.

We created a guidebook a few years ago that includes samples of our Ecoprint house stocks. If you do not have one, let us know! We’ll gladly send one your way to use as a reference and help you in your search for an environmentally and economically friendly stock choices for your organization.

In the meantime, here are a few ideas to keep in mind:

1. The higher the PCW percentage, the better

PCW stands for Post Consumer Waste. For uncoated stocks, this means 100% PCW. For coated papers, strive for at least 25% PCW (our Ecoprint Silk grades in the aforementioned guide book contain up to 60% PCW).

2. Two thumbs way, way up for PCF

PCF stands for Processed-Chlorine Free. This means the paper was recycled and re-bleached without the use of toxic chlorinated agents, which accumulate in the environment and threaten water quality and people’s health.

NOTE: ECF does not mean PCF. ECF (Elementally Chlorine Free) means that the paper was still processed using Chlorine Dioxide, which still produces some toxic byproducts.

3. Tree-free papers

Made from fast-growing plants like cotton, bamboo, hemp and kenaf, these papers are priced much higher than recycled papers. Of these tree-free papers, kenaf grows most rapidly, producing high yields and less intensive processing requirements.

4. Lighter is the new black

A 70 lb. paper uses 12% fewer resources than an 80 lb. sheet. So, when you’re choosing paper…err on the side of less is more (environmentally speaking)!


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