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Recycling is an effective way to conserve our resources, minimize waste and protect our environment.
Paper products are essential to everyday life. Virgin tree fiber will always be needed for papermaking because reprocessed fibers eventually weaken and become unusable. The wood fibers can be recycled only four to seven times before they become too short and brittle to be made into new paper.
The recycled symbol indicates that a product or package is recyclable and/or made from recycled materials. Use of the logo is not regulated by law, but the Federal Trade Commission does offer guidelines. Claims should be made in language that makes the environmental attributes clear. In addition, statements can be added regarding content and processing. For example: Printed with Soy Ink or the use of chlorine-free processing. For more information go to: http://www.paperrecycles.org
Post Consumer Waste is waste paper that has served its intended purpose and has been recycled by the end user. It is then separated from solid waste and recycled into new paper.
For many years virgin fiber was bleached with hypochlorite, a compound that reacts with organic materials and may produce dioxins or its pre-cursors in the reaction. Most virgin pulp mills have stopped using this chemistry and are substituting chlorine dioxide in the bleaching stages. This virtually eliminates dioxin and its associated compounds from the waste water. This process is called elemental chlorine free (ECF). Some mills are totally chlorine free (TCF) meaning they bleach with oxygen, ozone or peroxide.
Processed chlorine free (PCF) papers contain post-consumer recycled fiber that was manufactured without the use of any chlorine or chlorine compounds. If these papers also contain virgin fiber, the virgin fiber must be processed TCF (totally chlorine free).
The terms TCF and PCF both indicate that the pulp was bleached using no chlorine or chlorine compounds. TCF cannot apply to bleached recycled pulp (de-inked pulp) because it cannot be determined how the recovered paper used to make the de-inked pulp was previously bleached. Therefore, bleached recycled pulp is called PCF if no chlorine or its compounds were used in the rebleaching process of the recycled fiber.
Chain-of-Custody is a third party certified system that tracks certified material through the entire production process - from the forest to the certified product sold to the consumer. It includes all stages of the processing, manufacturing and distribution.
To use the FSC logo for material printed on FSC certified paper, the project must pass through a complete "chain-of-custody" (CoC) from a FSC certified forest to a FSC certified pulp manufacturer to a FSC certified papermaker, merchant, and printer. In order to identify products with the FSC label, all processes in the CoC must be independently verified and have CoC certification. The printer is the last link in the chain-of-custody therefore, they are the only ones that can get the FSC certified logo for your project. The logo must contain the FSC logo, copyright symbol, promotional claim, registration number, and FSC copyright claim. The printer's FSC auditor must approve the FSC statements and use of the logo.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) was founded by a diverse group of industry and environmental stakeholders, including the Rainforest Alliance, to develop a consistent, comprehensive and reliable set of third-party certification standards, and to ensure that they are universally recognized. The mission of the Forest Stewardship Council is to promote and enhance well-managed forests through credible certification that is environmentally responsible, socially acceptable, and economically viable.
Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certification is a way of tracking paper throughout its life cycle, from the forest to the point-of-sale. CoC Certification is available for any operation that processes cut wood, such as sawmills, secondary manufacturers, broker/distributors, wholesalers, retailers, printers, paper merchants and other points in the supply chain. As stated on the FSC Website, any FSC-labeled product can be traced back to a certified source. Companies managing the forests must show they are harvesting fiber and managing their resources so as to preserve the environment, protect biodiversity, and ensure the responsible treatment of employees and indigenous peoples. For paper distributors and merchants, FSC CoC Certification requires a comprehensive documentation control system to track FSC Certified paper from the time it is received until the time it is shipped, with the ability to show that it has been segregated from non-FSC papers.
Sustainable forestry provides a way of using forest products to meet people's ever increasing needs without degrading forest ecosystems. These practices ensure that forestlands retain their economic value for the long term.
Green Seal is a non-profit standard-setting organization that awards the Green Seal of Approval to products that cause less harm to the environment than other similar products as defined by their certification standards. Green Seal operates under the international guidelines for environmental labeling programs, ISO 14020 and 14024, set by the International Organization for Standardization. Green Seal does work internationally through mutual recognition agreements with other national eco-labeling programs. The intent of Green Seal's environmental requirements is to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the manufacture, use and disposal of products. The Green Seal Printing and Writing Standard (GS-7) requires that the product contain a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content. The standard also establishes requirements for nonchlorine bleaching and limits for toxics in packaging. In order to be authorized to use the mark, the manufacturer must undergo an initial evaluation to determine that the product complies with Green Seal's requirements as well as undergo ongoing factory inspections.
The Rainforest Alliance was established in 1987 with a mission to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that depend on them by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. (www.rainforest-alliance.org)
Green-e is the nation's leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions in the retail market. It has three certification programs: Green-e Climate is a voluntary certification program launched in 2007 that sets consumer-protection and environmental-integrity standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions sold in the voluntary market. Green-e Energy is the nation's leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy. Green-e Marketplace is a program that allows companies to display the logo when they have purchased a qualifying amount of renewable energy and passed our verification standards.
There is no single accepted definition of carbon neutrality. Generally, carbon neutrality or a "zero net emissions position" (not to be confused with no emissions) is recognized as carbon emissions less emission reductions less offsets. Emissions can be reduced by using energy more efficiently or by replacing fossil fuels with renewable, emission-free resources. Individuals and companies can balance their remaining emissions with carbon offsets. A single carbon offset represents the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases. Types of carbon offset projects include renewable energy, methane combustion and containment, forestry and many others.
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes. It is an international, independent, nonprofit, non-govermental organizaton that promotes sustainable forest management through independent third party certification.
Renewable Energy is derived from sources that are continuously replenished. Renewable energy sources include wind and solar power, geothermal, hydropower and various forms of biomass.
Biomass refers to living and recently dead biological material that can be used as fuel, most often plant matter grown to generate electricity or produce biofuel. It may also include matter used to produce fibers or heat and biodegradable wastes that can be burned as fuel.