Earth Month: Busting Myths about Recycled Paper

April 09, 2024

Despite its many environmental benefits, recycled paper often faces misconceptions that cloud its reputation. In honor of Earth Month, let’s debunk a few of these myths below:

Myth #1: Recycled Paper is Inferior in Quality

One prevalent misconception about recycled paper is that it’s of lower quality compared to unrecycled paper. However, advances in recycling technology have significantly improved the quality of recycled paper over the years. Modern recycling processes remove impurities and enhance the fibers, resulting in recycled paper that meets the standards of virgin paper in terms of brightness, texture, and strength. In fact, many recycled papers, like Boise ASPEN recycled papers, are practically indistinguishable from their non-recycled counterparts.

Myth #2: Recycled Paper isn’t Actually Environmentally Friendly

Contrary to this belief, recycled paper often carries certifications from reputable organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), which verifies that the paper comes from responsibly managed forests or recycled sources. The FSC certification ensures that the paper production process meets stringent environmental and social standards, including sustainable forestry practices and protection of biodiversity. Consider choosing Boise ASPEN recycled papers which are FSC certified.

Myth #3 Recycling Paper is too Energy-Consuming

Another prevalent myth is that recycling paper consumes more energy and resources than producing virgin paper. Recycling does involve energy expenditure, but the overall amount of resources used is significantly lower compared to manufacturing paper from raw materials. Producing recycled pulp reduces energy use and requires less water, fewer chemicals, and lessens the demand for virgin wood pulp.

Myth #4: Recycled Paper Causes Paper Jams

Many of today’s recycled copy paper is high quality and great for use in copiers. If the paper jams in a copier, it’s most likely not because of the recycled content, but rather that the ream sat open for a long time and absorbed moisture, or it could be caused by your equipment. Consider opting for recycled paper that offers a 99.99% Jam-Free Guarantee, like with Boise Paper products.

Myth #5: You Should Only Use Recycled Paper

Paper fiber can only be recycled up to seven times before it begins to break down and is no longer usable, so we need paper products made from fresh, never-used wood fibers to keep the recycling loop going. That’s why it’s best to complement your use of recycled paper with non-recycled paper. A good way to get started incorporating both types of paper into your office’s printing strategy is to just stock half of your office printers with recycled paper – we promise you won’t be able to tell the difference!

Recycled paper plays an important role in promoting environmental sustainability by conserving resources, reducing energy consumption, and minimizing waste. This Earth Month, let’s celebrate the power of recycling and make informed choices that benefit both the environment and our communities.


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