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)!