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Buying Recycled

  Exposing the Myths of Recycled-Content Paper

Myth #1:  I was told recycled-content paper doesn't work in our machines.

The truth is paper containing 30 percent post-consumer fiber (30% PC) works just fine. In a recent study, Cannon U.S.A, Hewlett-Packard, and Lexmark combined with the U.S. Government Printing Office tested over 2 million sheets of paper on various models of copiers, laser printers, and ink jet printers. The study showed that the physical properties (image quality, smoothness, curls) and performance (paper feeding, reliability) of 30% recycled-content paper brands was equivalent to virgin papers brands.

Myth #2: Buying recycled-content paper cost much more than regular paper.

Most retail stores now sell recycled-content paper at prices that are the same or less than virgin paper. In some cases, the recycled-content products will cost more; however, recycled-content products are not inherently more expensive. Other factors such as the quality of the paper and quantity ordered may influence the price as well. Take the time to investigate and compare prices.

Myth #3:  Recycled-content paper is hard to find.

This used to be true, but not anymore. Most retailers and printers offer a variety of brands of recycled-content paper and if you haven't seen them it's time to start asking for them. Ask your supplier to offer more recycled-content products or to clearly indicate which products contain recovered materials. Emphasize your commitment to purchasing recycled products, ask for their support, and explain your willingness to investigate other vendors if they are unable to supply what you want.

Myth #4:  Buying recycled paper really doesn't make a difference.

This couldn't be farther from the truth. Increasing the use of post-consumer fibers in printing and writing paper is critical to expanding market demand for recycled paper while conserving resources and reducing waste. Every ton of recycled paper collected and used again to make paper saves 17 trees from being cut down. Also, the 30% post-consumer recycled content level will result in a 13% reduction in the amount of solid waste requiring disposal.

Myth #5:  Recycled-content paper is inferior in quality.

Advances in paper recycling technologies and improved office paper collection efforts have made it possible to produce high quality post-consumer content paper products. Today, products made from recycled-content paper are found everywhere. Copier paper, computer paper, envelopes, file folders, tissue and towel products, corrugated and paperboard boxes, and cash register tape are just some examples of the many recycled-content products available.


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