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Subject: Survey of permanent papers and recycled content

Survey of permanent papers and recycled content

From: Walter Henry <whenry>
Date: Wednesday, December 22, 1993
A press release from Ellen McCrady:

    December 16, 1993

    Survey of Permanent Papers for Printing and Writing will Indicate
    Recycled Content

    Abbey Publications has mailed out questionnaires for its second
    survey of "permanent" printing and writing papers produced in the
    U.S. and Canada. This survey covers papers (including those with
    recycled content) which meet the permanence requirements of the
    American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Publications
    and Documents in Libraries and Archives, ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992.
    Papers meeting this standard have an estimated life measured in
    centuries. By contrast, the acidic papers in almost universal use
    until recent years have lives measured in decades.

    The majority of printing and writing papers made in the U.S. today
    last longer than they used to, because they are alkaline. However,
    in order to qualify as permanent by the ANSI standard, a paper must
    also contain at least 2% calcium carbonate, show a certain
    resistance to tear, and contain no more than 1% lignin. (Lignin is
    the major component of wood that is removed during pulping. If it is
    left in, the paper will darken from exposure to light.) Probably
    fewer than half of all alkaline papers qualify as permanent by the

    The purpose of the survey is twofold:

        1.  To give those who buy printing and writing papers a
            comprehensive list of permanent papers by brand name and
            producer, in the three major categories covered by the ANSI
            standard: printing papers, artist papers, and business
            papers. These are further broken down into a total of 33
            subcategories, such as "web offset," "tracing paper," and
            "computer paper." Both coated and uncoated papers are
            covered by the standard.

        2.  To identify those permanent papers which include recycled
            materials, indicating the percentages of "recovered
            materials" (anything diverted from solid waste) and the
            narrower category of "post-consumer materials." These are
            the two kinds of recycled materials referred to in a recent
            Executive Order for purchases by Federal government agencies
            beginning December 31, 1994 (Executive order 12873, October
            20, 1993, "Federal Acquisition, Recycling, and Waste
            Prevention," Part 5). The Executive Order will require all
            uncoated printed and writing paper bought by the agencies
            after December 31, 1994, to include 20% post-consumer
            materials. Certain kinds of printing and writing papers must
            contain a total of 50% recovered materials, including the
            20% post-consumer component.

    The Order makes no mention of permanence as a consideration in paper
    purchases by the Federal government, despite the existence of Public
    Law 101-423 (1991), which states: "It is the policy of the United
    States that Federal records, books and publications of enduring
    value be produced on acid free permanent paper."

    The tabulated results of the survey are expected to be available in
    March 1994, and will be published in the Abbey Newsletter and the
    Alkaline Paper Advocate. Individual copies of the survey issue of
    either of these publications may be purchased from Abbey
    Publications for $5.00 each, prepaid, with a self-addressed mailing
    label enclosed. Other means of distribution, including through the
    Internet, are being explored.

    Ellen McCrady
    Abbey Publications
    Abbey Newsletter and Alkaline Paper Advocate
    7105 Geneva Dr., Austin, IX 78723
    Fax 512/929-3995

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:46
                Distributed: Thursday, December 23, 1993
                        Message Id: cdl-7-46-003
Received on Wednesday, 22 December, 1993

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