How to... buy paper responsibly

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

  1. Buy from a reputable paper merchant or printer that takes environmental care seriously. They are the most likely to assure the source of the fibre and the environmental performance of the paper mill
  2. Refer to the WWF Guide to Buying Paper at www.wwf.org.uk. This is a useful publica-tion that explains the issues that should be considered when buying paper
  3. Paper may account for up to 70% of the carbon footprint of a printed product and, therefore, the choice of stock may offer one of the best opportunities for reducing the environmental impact of your printing. Push your supplier for this information; it should be specific to each paper and mill
  4. Choose the paper you like and then check its environmental credentials. If you have concerns look for an alternative with better credentials – they often exist
  5. Preference should be given to a product with either FSC or PEFC certification and including a proportion of post-consumer recycled fibre. It is also important to use suppliers that track all fibre sources and exclude fibres from illegal and other unacceptable sources. Opt for mills that implement third-party verification environmental systems, such as EMAS, and who minimise the release of CO2 emissions
  6. Search out the lowest grammage paper that meets your requirements
  7. Encourage the recipient of the printed item to recycle it so it can come back as recycled fibre

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