Make Smart Decisions About Recycled Paper

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July 2012
by Matt Nightingale

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In the past few years, consumers have not only expressed growing concern about environmental sustainability; they have reported that they factor their concern into their purchase decisions. A 2011 survey from SCA North America and Harris Interactive notes, for instance, that “61 percent of American adults surveyed indicate they are more likely to patronize a company or business that follows green practices.”

Publishers who want to reduce the environmental footprint of their books for this reason and/or others will make the greatest headway by choosing “greener” paper. Several studies (including one by the American Forest & Paper Association) pinpoint paper production as the largest contributor of greenhouse gases in environmental life-cycle assessments of printed media such as books, magazines, and catalogs.

In most cases, the environmental impact of paper production outweighed the impact of all other life-cycle stages added together—even printing and shipping.

But publishers wanting to “green” their books face a bewildering variety of environmental paper options. Some papers are certified to come from sustainably managed forests. Others contain varying percentages of recycled fiber. Deciding which green paper is right for you involves considering several factors, including affordability, the availability of recycled alternatives, and your printer’s familiarity with printing on different types of paper….IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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