There is no reason not to use recycled papers. They print as well as virgin papers, work well on laser printers, and can divert millions of pounds of printed waste away from the landfills and back into the mainstream.
Recycled papers save our valuable natural resources, save energy, save our trees, create less toxic bi-products, and help our over-crowded landfills.
Using recycled papers with the highest percentage of post-consumer content helps even more. The government mandates 20% post-consumer recycled fiber to be considered recycled, but I would like to see that percentage increased, as that amount barely makes a dent into our problems. We should be looking to increase to 50% by the turn of the century.
The question of prices of the paper comes up, but what does incineration cost, what is the price of landfilling cost, and what are the medical costs to ourselves and our pocketbook? Certainly we pay for it in increased taxes and our quality of life. The paper mills can make recycled papers at lower prices as the demand for recycled papers goes up.
Using 100% post-consumer recycled papers and less bleaching agents also means less chlorine and that is the next major issue to creating a healthier atmosphere to live in. Chlorine causes Dioxin which, when mixed with other compounds, causes cancer. What is that cost to our medical bills and to ourselves?
Tree Free papers, although not considered recycled, are now considered environmentally preferable products, because they save our natural resources, use less energy in separating the lignin (the natural occuring bonding agent) from the fiber, are processed chlorine-free, and in the case of Kenaf, are pesticide-free. Tree Free plants grow in as little as 10 weeks, unlike trees that grow from 7 years to 20 years.
We need to address these issues more actively. Our waters are polluted, our air is contaminated, and our landfills are so clogged that we have to send our waste downstream. Let's wake up, and do something about the problem, buy recycled paper now, before it's too late.
Written by: Greg Barber, Greg Barber Company
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