We've all heard this argument: Since paper is made from wood fiber, then using paper must be bad for trees. Research, however, shows otherwise. Using wood-based products like office paper actually helps keep American forests healthy — when the wood fiber is sourced responsibly, emphasizes Boise Paper in a recent press release.
“Using responsibly-sourced recycled and non-recycled paper is a great way to help the environment,” notes Kate McGlynn, product environmental steward for Boise Paper, a division of Packaging Corporation of America. “When forests are managed sustainably, using non-recycled paper is not harmful to forests. Because the vast majority of forests in the U.S. exist on privately-owned land, selling harvested trees to make paper creates an economic incentive for land owners to keep forest land thriving.”
If trees weren’t needed to make wood products like paper, private landowners could choose to remove forests and use their land for other purposes, such as agriculture or commercial development.
And a responsibly-sourced supply of fresh wood fiber is actually an important part of a healthy recycling loop. Recycled paper fiber can be used again and again — up to seven times — in other products, but each time the wood fibers break down. If we only used recycled paper, we would quickly run out. To support an eco-friendly strategy, Boise Paper recommends using a mix of certified recycled and non-recycled papers.
Thanks to technological advances and rigorous production standards, recycled papers now feature the same hardworking characteristics and brightness as papers made without recycled content. Here are three key areas that will allow you to compare the performance of recycled copy paper against its non-recycled counterpart:
- Smoothness: Great print quality and ink retention are the result of a smoother sheet surface. Regardless of recycled fiber content , print on a good recycled paper will be just as crisp and clean as non-recycled.
- Brightness: Recycled paper traditionally has the stigma of being dull, yellow and dingy, but in reality most recycled grades have the same or comparable brightness as non-recycled.
- Jam-Free: If you expect excellent runnability from your non-recycled paper, why would you expect less from recycled? Boise's ASPEN papers, for example, are third-party tested to rigorous standards, and backed by a Jam-Free Guarantee.
For more information on choosing the right paper, whether recycled or non-recycled, visit www.BePaperSmart.com.