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Paper and Paper Products

Under the CPG program, EPA designated the following paper and paper products and published recycled-content recommendations for each item:

Page Contents:

Product Information:

Database of Manufacturers and Suppliers
This database identifies manufacturers and suppliers of designated products containing recovered materials.

GSA Advantage!
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has an online ordering system and publishes various supply catalogs, guides, and schedules for recycled-content products through the Federal Supply Service.

For More Information:

2007 Buy-Recycled Series: Paper Products (PDF) (7 pp, 72K, About PDF) 
This fact sheet highlights the paper products designated in the CPG and includes case studies, recommended recovered fiber content levels, and a list of resources. 

For more information on EPA’s product research on paper and paper products, please see the Technical Background Documents for  Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice I (Paper RMAN I) and Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice II (Paper RMAN II).

Printing and Writing Papers

Printing and writing papers comprise one of the largest categories of paper and paper products. Examples include copier paper, stationery, computer printout, offset paper, and note pads. Printing and writing paper can be either coated or uncoated.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Ranges:

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends that procuring agencies establish minimum content standards expressed as a percentage of recovered fiber, including a percentage of postconsumer fiber. For most grades, EPA recommends postconsumer fiber content. Postconsumer fiber does not include newsstand returns or printer's overruns.

EPA's Recommended Recovered Fiber Content Levels for Uncoated Printing and Writing Papers ¹
Product Postconsumer Fiber (%) Total Recovered Fiber (%)
Reprographic Paper (e.g., mimeo and duplicator paper, high-speed copier paper, and bond paper) 30 30
Offset Paper (e.g., offset printing paper, book paper, and bond paper) 30 30
Tablet Paper (e.g., offset paper such as note pads, stationery, and other writing papers) 30 30
Forms Bond (e.g., forms, computer printout paper, and ledger) 30 >30

Envelope Paper

Wove
Kraft, white, and colored (including manila)
Kraft, unbleached
Excludes custom envelopes

30
10-20
10
30
10-20
10
Cotton Fiber Paper (e.g., cotton fiber papers, ledger, stationery and matching envelopes, and other writing papers) 30 30
Text & Cover Paper (e.g., cover stock, book paper, stationery and matching envelopes, and other writing paper) 30 30
Supercalendered 10 10
Machine Finish Groundwood 10 10
Papeteries 30 30
Check Safety Paper 10 10


ıMost of these items can be made from a variety of printing and writing papers, depending on the performance characteristics of the item. Some of the papers are a commodity-type and some are specialty papers. EPA recommends that procuring agencies determine the performance characteristics required of the paper prior to establishing minimum content standards. Bond, ledger, or stationery made from cotton fiber paper or a text & cover paper, for example, have different characteristics than similar items made from commodity papers.

EPA's Recommended Recovered Fiber Content Levels for Coated Printing and Writing Papers
Product Postconsumer Fiber (%): Recovered Fiber (%):
Coated Printing Paper 10 10
Carbonless 30 30

 

EPA's Recommended Recovered Fiber Content Levels for Bristols
Product Postconsumer Fiber (%) Total Recovered Fiber (%)
File Folders (manila and colored) 30 30
Dyed Filing Products 20 20-50
Cards (index, postal, and other, including index sheets) 20 50
Pressboard Report Covers and Binders 20 50
Tags and Tickets 20 50
Product Specifications:

Learn more about paper and paper product definitions, specifications, and other guidance for measurement and recyclability.

Additional Product Information and Resources:

Federal Government Vendors of Paper

Government Printing Office
GPO Online Paper Store

General Services Administration
GSA Advantage!
Recycled Content Products
Environmental Products Overview
2010 Environmental Products Brochure

Commercial Online Vendors of Papers with Recycled Content Description: Exit EPA

Sampling of Vendors that carry types of paper with recycled content:
Staples - Eco Easy Products
Office Depot - Buy Green
EcoGreenOffice
World of Green
Future Friendly
LetsGoGreen.biz
AbilityOne
Green Earth Office Supply
Dolphin Blue
Betty Mills
Sappi
Jam Paper & Envelope
GreenLine Paper Company
Echo Paper
The Paper Mill Store

Manufacturers:
Neenah Paper
Resolute Forest Products
American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Forest Bioproducts Division's List of Paper Manufacturers

Paper Mills:
List of North American Paper Mills
The Paper Mill Store's Manufacturing Partners
The Paper Mill Store's Recycled Paper Shop

State Resources Exit EPA

California:
CalRecycle
Recycled Products Cooperative

Washington:
King County, WA

Resources in Researching Paper Types, Attributes, Manufacturers and Mills: Exit EPA

Conservatree - resource for environmental papers of all kinds, lists of manufacturers
Conservatree Mill Contacts
Conservatree Paper Guide
Conservatree's Paper Master List
The Conservatree Guide
Paper Index – lists kinds of papers, producers and manufacturers

Paper Industry and Other Paper Related Organizations/Publications: Exit EPA

American Forestry and Paper Association
AF & PA paper products glossary
PaperAge – a magazine on the paper industry and paper that has up to date information on paper and the paper industry
The Environmental Paper Network (EPN) – information and tools and resources on paper
What's in your paper? (site sponsored by EPN)
Recycled Paper Recovery Report
Background on Paper Mills
Ecopaper Database - a listing of Ancient Forest Friendly™ and other environmentally preferable papers available in the North American marketplace
EcoBusiness Links
Responsible Purchasing Network - the Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) is an international network of buyers dedicated to socially responsible and environmentally sustainable purchasing

Additional Links:

For more information on EPA’s product research on paper and paper products, please see the Technical Background Documents for Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice I (Paper RMAN I) and Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice II (Paper RMAN II).

Report on the Availability of Printing and Writing Papers Listed in the CPG Paper RMAN
This report fulfills the requirement in the implementing instructions of Executive Order 13423, March 29, 2007, for EPA to report to the Federal Environmental Executive on the availability of printing and writing paper with recycled content.

Newsprint

Newsprint is a type of groundwood paper generally used to print newspapers. Recovered-content newsprint is usually manufactured from fiber recovered from old newspapers and magazines. The federal government uses newsprint for printing the Federal Register, Congressional Record, and other publications.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Ranges:

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends that procuring agencies establish minimum content standards expressed as a percentage of recovered fiber, including a percentage of postconsumer fiber. For most grades, EPA recommends postconsumer fiber content. Postconsumer fiber does not include newsstand returns or printer's overruns.

EPA's Recommended Recovered Fiber Content Levels for Newsprint
Product Postconsumer Fiber (%) Total Recovered Fiber (%)
Newsprint 20-85 20-100
Product Definitions and Specifications:

Learn more about paper and paper product definitions, specifications, and other guidance for measurement and recyclability.

Additional Links:

For more information on EPA’s product research on paper and paper products, please see the Technical Background Documents for Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice I (Paper RMAN I) and Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice II (Paper RMAN II).

Commercial/Industrial Sanitary Tissue

Sanitary tissue products include bathroom and facial tissue, paper towels, napkins, and general-purpose industrial wipers. They are generally sold in rolls or sheets and are used in personal care, food service, and cleaning applications. The grades of sanitary tissue products covered in the CPG are manufactured for use by restaurants, hotels, schools, government agencies, and other similar commercial and institutional buyers. Some recycled-content sanitary tissue products are softer, stronger, and more absorbent than others.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Ranges:

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends that procuring agencies establish minimum content standards expressed as a percentage of recovered fiber, including a percentage of postconsumer fiber. For most grades, EPA recommends postconsumer fiber content. Postconsumer fiber does not include newsstand returns or printer's overruns.

EPA's Recommended Recovered Fiber Content Levels for Commercial/Industrial Sanitary Tissue Products
Product Postconsumer Fiber (%) Total Recovered Fiber (%)
Bathroom Tissue 20-60 20-100
Paper Towels 40-60 40-100
Paper Napkins 30-60 30-100
Facial Tissue 10-15 10-100
General Purpose Industrial Wipers 40 40-100
Product Definitions and Specifications:

Learn more about paper and paper product definitions, specifications, and other guidance for measurement and recyclability.

Additional Links:

For more information on EPA’s product research on paper and paper products, please see the Technical Background Documents for Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice I (Paper RMAN I) and Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice II (Paper RMAN II).

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Paperboard and Packaging

The paperboard and packaging category covers two major types of board: "containerboard" used to make corrugated shipping containers, and "paperboard" used in a wide variety of packaging applications such as folding cartons, "blister cards," beverage carriers, book and report covers, mailing tubes, and video cassette boxes, and others.

Containerboard (corrugated board) is actually a composite paperboard made by sandwiching fluted "corrugating medium" in between layers of linerboard. Linerboard, made primarily from both virgin and recovered fiber from old corrugated containers (OCC), is used to make the inner and outer walls of a box. The inside, fluted "medium" layer in the middle is made almost exclusively from postconsumer recovered fiber from OCC, old newspapers (ONP), used office paper, and mixed papers.

Paperboard containing recovered fiber is a multi-ply material, formed in layers of recovered fiber. Often grey in appearance, a white top layer made from recovered office paper is often used to provide a clean printing surface. Paperboard mills use more recovered fiber than any other segment of the paper industry to manufacture a wide variety of product packaging (folding cartons), beverage carriers, mailing tubes, industrial paperboard (cores, drums, tubes, and cans), and many other items.

Kraft padded mailers, Kraft bags, and wrapping paper made from OCC also fall under the packaging category.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Ranges:

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends that procuring agencies establish minimum content standards expressed as a percentage of recovered fiber, including a percentage of postconsumer fiber. For most grades, EPA recommends postconsumer fiber content. Postconsumer fiber does not include newsstand returns or printer's overruns.

EPA's Recommended Recovered Fiber Content Levels for Paperboard and Packaging Products
Product Postconsumer Fiber (%) Total Recovered Fiber (%)

Corrugated containers: ¹

- (<300 psi)

- (300 psi)

 

25-50

25-30

 

25-50

25-30

Solid Fiber Boxes 40 40
Folding Cartons ² 40-80 100
Industrial paperboard (e.g., tubes, cores, drums, and cans) 45-100 100
Miscellaneous (e.g., pad backs, covered binders, book covers, mailing tubes, protective packaging) 75-100 90-100
Padded mailers 5-15 5-15
Carrierboard ³ 10-15 10-100
Brown papers (e.g., wrapping paper and bags) 5-20 5-40

¹The recovered fiber and postconsumer fiber content is calculated from the content of each component relative to the weight each contributes to the total weight of the box.

²The recommended content ranges are not applicable to all types of paperboard used in folding cartons. Cartons made from solid bleached sulfate or solid unbleached sulfate contain no or small percentages of postconsumer fiber, depending on the paperboard source.

³Carrierboard made from unbleached kraft contains up to 25 percent recovered fiber, while carrierboard made from recycled paperboard contains up to 100 percent recovered fiber.

Product Specifications:

Learn more about paper and paper product definitions, specifications, and other guidance for measurement and recyclability.

Additional Links:

Sample Calculation of Postconsumer Fiber Content of a Corrugated Container
Sample calculation of postconsumer fiber content.

For more information on EPA’s product research on paper and paper products, please see the Technical Background Documents for Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice I (Paper RMAN I) and Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice II (Paper RMAN II).

Miscellaneous Paper Products

Tray liners currently are the only product in the Miscellaneous Paper category. Sometimes referred to as "doilies" or "place mats," tray liners are specialty paper items designed to line food service trays in institutional and commercial restaurants and cafeterias in schools, hospitals, prisons, and private facilities.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Ranges:

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends that procuring agencies establish minimum content standards expressed as a percentage of recovered fiber, including a percentage of postconsumer fiber. For most grades, EPA recommends postconsumer fiber content. Postconsumer fiber does not include newsstand returns or printer's overruns.

EPA's Recommended Recovered Fiber Content Levels for Miscellaneous Paper Products
Product Postconsumer Fiber (%) Total Recovered Fiber (%)
Tray Liners 50-75 100
Product Definitions and Specifications:

Learn more about paper and paper product definitions, specifications, and other guidance for measurement and recyclability.

Additional Links:

For more information on EPA’s product research on paper and paper products, please see the Technical Background Documents for Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice I (Paper RMAN I) and Paper Recovered Materials Advisory Notice II (Paper RMAN II).

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