Here are some terms to know when considering environmental impact:
Virgin paper is made with woods fibers that come directly from forests. This wood has never been used before in an industrial process. No part of Virgin Paper products has been re-used or re-cycled.
Recycled paper can contain a mix of Virgin Fibers (see above) as well as pre-and post-consumer waste. For example, wood fibers left over from other wood manufacturing processes, or previously used wood products such as newspapers.
Biodegradable products are products with organic compounds which can be more easily broken down by living organisms, such as algae, fungus and bacteria.
This refers to waste generated by other paper manufacturing processes such as trimmings or scraps. These can be easily re-purposed into new paper products without the additional time and expense of separating and de-inking them.
“Soy inks are made with soybeans, and use 50% less energy to make compared with petroleum-based ink. It makes it easier to recycle paper. Soy ink is an option for printing CD booklets/traycards, cardboard packaging and digipaks.”
Post-consumer waste (PCW) is paper made out of the remains of products already sold and used by the consumer. This content is usually gathered by commercial and community recycling programs. This kind of paper is one of the most environmentally friendly choices as it not only prevents new trees from being cut-down to meet demand, it also stops waste products from going into landfills.
These are resourced which will be replenished by natural processes as quickly, or faster than humans consume them.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC):
“The Forest Stewardship Council mission is to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests.
Our vision is that we can meet our current needs for forest products without compromising the health of the world’s forests for future generations.”