Happy Earth Day


It’s Earth Day. Let’s talk about environmentally-friendly papers. What’s best? What things should you take into consideration when choosing a sheet for your print project and client?

Post Consumer Waste (PCW)
The percentage you see in front of the PCW mark on swatchbooks will tell you how much recycled pulp is contained in a paper. Pick the highest content that is best for your job. We say that because it’s easy to find a 100% PCW sheet in text and cover papers.  But finding that kind of PCW content in a coated sheet is super challenging for many reasons. For one, if you want the coated to be smooth and without blemish, it’s really hard for a coated sheet to go over 10-30% PCW to keep the surface finish pristine for ink adhesion. Also, cracking on the fold can become an issue with coated sheets that have PCW percentages that extend past 30%.  All these things that are issues with coated sheets enhance the stiffness and beauty of the uncoated sheets with high PCW contents.

Alternative Fiber
Sometimes you’ll want to pull trees completely out of the equation for a printed project. We offer sheets that are made completely tree-free from bamboo, hemp, sugarcane (bagasse), linen and cotton. Although some of these sheets are visibly very clean, sometimes small particles can be seen and are to be expected. We offer some of these alternative fiber sheets in-stock and others we procure for you by special order.

Paper Origin
Where is your paper coming from? If you choose a paper that is manufactured far away in another country, you cancel out all the green aspects of the sheet you’ve chosen by getting it transported from another country. You may want to think about buying American.

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash to a landfill. It may be important that the paper you pick be recyclable or biodegradable. We can help you make this important choice. Most papers are. Benefits of recycling include reducing landfill space, conserving natural resources, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

FSC Certification
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is a third party certification system that insures that the paper and pulp are procured from well-managed forests. Although, not an issue in North America, in places like China, it is. Let’s face it, sometimes your buying decision is based on price. Many low cost sheets, especially coated ones are imported from these areas. Make sure they are FSC certified or pay a bit more for an American manufactured, FSC sheet.

Get in touch with your O-K representative with any more green questions. Happy Earth Day!

Thinking Green

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We are thinking green this month. What better time with St. Patty’s Day around the corner and Earth Day just a month away? Giving us a chance to talk about the green paper initiatives and all the green papers we have to offer you each and every day for your printed communications.
Did you know that paper is one of the most recycled products used in the United States? With a recovery rate of more than 57 percent that equals 340 pounds per capita. Food for thought when only 18% of the three million tons of electronic waste in the U.S. is recovered. Plus, it requires 10 percent less energy to manufacture paper with 30 percent recovered fiber as part of the mix -- not to mention 25 percent less wastewater and 6 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.

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Are you thinking green for you and your company? You may want to utilize a paper that comes from sustainable sources. Look for paper that is certified by organizations that track chain-of-custody of raw and processed materials from the forest to customer. These organizations such as FSC®, SFI® and PEFC® certify that the paper materials are harvested and manufactured using fiber that is from responsibly managed forests. Olmsted-Kirk is a FSC® certified paper merchant. We are audited annually to remain in compliance with our certification. As a certified merchant, we offer many FSC® certified papers. Printing on a paper with recycled content is another option for companies. We have options from 10% - 100% post consumer waste in economical to luxury brands. We're happy to find you the right fit for your needs.

Contact your Olmsted-Kirk paper representative for more information on our recycled, certified or green products. For even more information on keeping a green balance, take a look online at Verso's EdLivesHere Issue #13.