May 3, 2011 — With people going more green and a recent celebration of Earth Day, we thought now was a good time to look at what the printing industry has done to decrease its environmental footprint.
Print values trees: Most paper now comes from sustainable forests — not old-growth trees. These forests are essentially “tree farms,” where trees are grown as a crop, just like broccoli or wheat. When these trees are harvested, new stocks are planted. Print on paper gives landowners a financial incentive to renew forests rather than convert them for other uses, such as development.
Print uses “waste”: One-third of the fiber used to make paper comes from “waste” — wood chips and sawmill scraps — another third comes from recycled paper. Overall, in the United States nearly 80 percent of the almost 400 paper mills uses recovered fiber to make some or all of their paper products. Of these, approximately 200 mills use recovered paper exclusively.
Print is recycled: But that is not the complete story. Print on paper is recycled and reused. In 2009, for example, 63.4 percent of all paper used in the United States was recycled, and this number increases each year with more deliberate curbside and drop-off collection systems. Recycled paper is used to make everything from construction products to consumer goods.
Print is responsible: Just 11 percent of the world’s forests are used for paper, and in the United States the wood used to produce paper all comes from certified forests. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) track fiber content from certified lands through production and manufacturing to the end product. There are certified forests in over 80 countries.
From sustainable forests to the renewable nature of trees and the recyclability of paper, the print and paper industries have a positive environmental story to tell — one in which print on paper and healthy forests thrive hand-in-hand.
Here at Feather Publishing, we use post-consumer recycled newsprint. All our inks are vegetable soy based. The chemicals we use in printing are also recycled, as are the plates used on our press.
Inside our offices, we reuse and then recycle paper. We also recycle all our other waste, from cardboard to plastic.
We invite you to join us in doing our part to keep our shared planet clean, healthy and beautiful for generations to come.
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