Recycled Paper: Seven Ways to Take Action
It’s easy to say you want to learn about using recycled paper, but it’s not a whole lot more difficult to do something about it. Consider these seven pointers:
1 If you’re a large cataloger, act on this changing climate now, plain and simple. Organizations like Forest Ethics will be on your tail soon enough if they’re not already.
2 If you’re a small to medium sized catalog, such as my previous employer — Lydia’s Uniforms, where we mailed about 20 million catalogs a year — learn about this issue; use it to your advantage. All catalogers can present themselves as environmentally friendly without having to immediately change their suppliers and/or put recycled content into all of their books.
3 Regardless of your size, familiarize yourself with the FSC and find out what it means to be certified.
4 Learn about post-consumer waste product and availability, and start the process of a genuine cost analysis to see how a 10 percent post-consumer waste product varies from a virgin product, leaving all players in the supply chain the same if possible.
5 Familiarize yourself with your recycled paper suppliers and find out if they have environmental policies, as well as where the product is coming from.
6 Familiarize yourself with the ancillary issues such as “chain of custody,” “Boreal Forest” and other key issues.
7 Post an environmental policy that’s easy to find on your site, even if it’s only a promise to customers that you’re working toward green products. Just make it known that you’re aware of recycled paper issues and acknowledge them.
If you’re a large cataloger with stores, create a comprehensive plan that works toward green product content, otherwise you’ll become a public target for these groups. Printing some books with post consumer waste content at a small premium is pennies on the dollar cheaper than a negative environmental image.