Purchasing Eco-friendly Paper

Next to reducing the amount of paper you use, buying sustainably-made paper is the best thing you can do.

Post-consumer recycled content

An image of recycled paper napkins and printer paper

Try to buy 100% recycled content paper.

Aim for a minimum of 50% post-consumer recycled content or the next highest your supplier provides.

Why? Making paper from recycled content saves energy, water and trees, and reduces greenhouse gases, chemical use, solid waste, pollution and toxics. [1]

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified

Buying Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified ensures that your paper products are not contributing to the destruction of forests worldwide.

FSC has three standards for paper products; look for the one that fits your needs:

  1. FSC-mixed: fibers come from a combination of FSC-certified wood, controlled wood and recycled fibers. [3]
  2. FSC-recycled: 100% of the fiber comes from post-consumer waste. [3]
  3. FSC-pure: 100% of the fibers originated in FSC certified forests. [3]

Note: You may also see products with Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification. SFI certification standards are not as comprehensive or robust as FSC. [2]


References:

  1. Paper to Protect the Planet – Environmental Paper Network, 30 Nov. 2014
  2. SFI: Certified Greenwash. – ForestEthics, Nov. 2010
  3.  “Chlorine Free Paper.” – CalRecycle, May 2015

Research conducted in 2014.