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PAPER PRODUCTS IN PRODUCTION - REUSE AND REDUCE
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By Tanja Meding

A ton of paper from recycled stock saves up to 17 trees, uses 50 percent less water and eliminates 3 cubic meters of landfill.  (www.eia.doe.gov)
 
After discussing how to recycle on the set in the last edition of GOING GREEN, this issue will look at more environmentally friendly uses of paper products in production. 

Whether drafting a proposal, handing in a script, writing a budget, signing a contract, or simply taking notes – paper is one of the most basic and often used tools in film production.

According to conservatree.org, 90% of printing paper in the US is still produced from virgin tree fiber, derived from valuable trees using chlorine to bleach it, thus creating a lot of pollutants and toxins. Recycled paper on the other hand produces 74% less air and 35% less water pollution as stated by the EPA. In addition it saves trees, essential in absorbing carbon and producing oxygen.


WHICH PAPER TO GO FOR...

There are a all different paper sources available, so following is a short primer on the different options and terminology:
VIRGIN PAPER uses no recycled materials at all whereas RECYCLED PAPER is available with different percentages of recycled materials mixed with virgin paper, starting at 10% and going all the way up to 100%.
RECYCLED PAPER can come from either pre-consumer waste, meaning waste that is created during the production of paper like trimmings and paper scraps, or post-consumer waste (PCW) – paper produced from newspapers, magazines, paper packaging etc. PCW is best to use, as it is true recycling of already used materials.



HOW TO READ THE LABELS – AND THE FINE PRINT 



A label on a paper produce that reads: 50% recycled 20% PCW, actually means 50% of the paper is from virgin wood, 30% is from pre-consumer recycled materials and only 20%  derives from post-consumer recycled.

100% recycled paper with a label that reads 100/30 (or 100TRF/30PCW) is made of 100% Total Recycled Fiber Content, with 30% Post Consumer Waste and 70% pre-consumer waste.
To summerize, if possible, best to purchase 100%  PCW unbleached recycled paper – made from recycled content like newspaper and magazines and using no toxins like chlorine during the production process.

However, even 30% of PCW paper make a difference as in the graph below:





When using non-recycled, virgin paper, buy Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper, from forests that are managed in an environmentally and socially responsible way.  (for more info, please visit www.fscus.org)

SOME MORE IDEAS....

In addition to switching over to post consumer recycled paper, here are a few more tips  how to reuse and reduce the amount of paper in your production: 

  1. PRINT LESS - only print what you really need
  2. PRINT DOUBLE SIDED – most up-to-date printers offer different printing standards – so you can easily switch between single sided and double sided printing
  3. PRINT ON THE BACK OF USED PAPER - or use the blank sides of previously printed paper  as scrap paper
  4. SET YOUR PRINTER TO ECO MODE  or reduce the amount of ink
  5. EXTEND THE PRINTING MARGINS of your  computer documents, so you print more on one page and use less paper
  6. EMAIL documents as pdfs rather than printing and mailing them- that saves a lot of time, money as well as paper

PLUS...

ADD A VIRAL REMINDER underneath your email signature like
  1. THINK BEFORE YOU PRINT - DO YOU REALLY NEED THIS DOCUMENT? 
  2. REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE or 
  3. PLEASE CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENT BEFORE PRINTING THIS DOCUMENT  

AND SOME MORE...

In addition to changing from virgin paper to recycled office paper in production, how about switching over to a complete line of recycled paper products?
These days, the market offers many post-consumer recycled paper products, from envelopes, post-its, labels to napkins, toilet paper, tissues, paper towels and paper plates and cups.

FOX's GREEN GUIDE has a comprehensive list of national vendors that supply recycled paper goods.  For more information, please visit: www.foxgreenguide.com
In addition, visit the new NEW YORK GREEN RESOURCE GUIDE at www.nypa.org

And as Meredith Bergmann from GREEN MEDIA SOLUTIONS suggests, simply start using less – as they did during the production of Sam Mendes latest feature film with Focus Features and Big Beach Films. Rather that buying endless supplies of paper plates and cups as well as plastic cutlery, production purchased china and silverware from the local Salvation Army  - in addition to reducing unneccesary waste, it also created a more cultured climate in the kitchen. 



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