The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 06, Number 1
Jun 1993

The EcoLogo and What it Means

Part of the Canadian Environmental Protection (ECP) Act deals with "Fine Paper from Recycled Paper," and manufacturers and importers are allowed to put the "EcoLogo" (a maple leaf outline formed from three birds) on products that comply with its strict guidelines. Since March 1990, some U.S., as well as Canadian, paper manufacturers have announced that one or more of their products qualify.

The Environmental Choice Program issues a list of certified products and services. The list they were sending out last May listed a large number of papers from Domtar, E.B. Eddy, Noranda, Island Paper and Rolland, all in Canada; two papers each from Mohawk and Cross Pointe; and one each from Monadnock and Hopper in the U.S. The other fine paper manufacturers on that list either do not make alkaline paper or have their own private brands.

Even readers who are not particularly interested in recycled paper may want to pay attention to the EcoLogo, because it is such a strict and well-run program that only well-Managed companies would find it easy to qualify. Well-managed companies are more likely to control the quality of their permanent papers too, and to maintain good lines of communication with their customers. Permanence, like environmental responsibility., is an aspect of quality. Quality in products and services is a goal that cannot be achieved simply by setting up an inspection station. The company has to "have it together" and if it is well enough coordinated to earn the EcoLogo, it is more likely (other things being equal) to be able to make quality permanent paper.

Excerpts from the ECP Guideline

The Environmental Choice Program is designed to support a continuing effort to improve and/or maintain environmental quality by reducing energy and materials consumption and by minimizing impacts (the pollution) generated by the use and disposal of goods and services available to Canadians.

Based on a review of currently available life cycle information, the product category requirements will produce an environmental benefit through conservation of forest resources and reduction of wastes entering landfills.

Life cycle review is an ongoing process. As information and technology change, product category requirements will be reviewed and possibly amended....

"Recycled paper" excludes:

a) "Wet broke" such as paper recovered from the wet press of a paper machine;

b) "Dry broke" such as paper spoiled in the process of drying, calendering, winding, rewinding and trimming including butt rolls;

c) "Forest residue" such as whole tree chips, sawmill waste and sawdust.

[The category of fine paper is broken down into five subcategories: printing papers, business papers, exercise and related papers, envelope papers, and covers and bristols. Each subcategory is then broken down into two or more minor categories. ("Exercise paper" does not relate to calisthenics, but to place mats, adding machine paper, safety paper, wedding invitation paper and so on.)]

General Requirements

To be authorized to carry the EcoLogo the fine paper must: a) meet or exceed all applicable governmental and industrial safety and performance standards [including those of the Canadian General Standards Board and the Bureau de normalisation du Québec, unless the procurement contract conflicts with them]; and b) be manufactured and transported in such a manner that all steps of the process, including the bleaching and the disposal of waste products arising therefrom, will meet the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) and all applicable government acts and regulations.

The weight of recycled paper content must be calculated using a weighted average over a 3 month period at each mill location.


The Environmental Choice Program requires manufacturers or importers of fine paper to adhere to the policies and targets as stated in the National Packaging Protocol and to adopt and follow the "Code of Preferred Packaging Practices!' upon its release.

Product Specific Requirements

[All fine papers are required to contain over 50% by weight of recycled paper, of which a minimum of 10% of the total weight must be post-consumer fiber.]


To verify a claim that a product meets the criteria listed in the guidelines, the Canadian Standards Association will require access, as is their normal practice, to relevant quality control and. production records and the right of access to production facilities on an unannounced basis.

Compliance with Section 3b [regarding conformity to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, see section on "General Requirements" above] shall be attested to by a signed statement of the Chief Executive Officer or the equivalent officer of the manufacturer. The Canadian Standards Association shall be advised in writing immediately by the applicant of any noncompliance which may occur during the term of the license. On the occurrence of any non-compliance, the license may be suspended or terminated as stipulated in the Licensing Agreement.

Sources of Information

The Canadian Standards Association (178 Rexdale Blvd., Rexdale [Toronto] ON M9W 1R3, Canada, 416/7474235) can send out an information sheet, complete guidelines, and EcoLogo application forms. The Environmental Choice Program (107 Sparks St., 2nd Floor, Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3) has a newsletter, EcoLogo, printed on conspicuously recycled paper, which gives information about new guidelines and requirements, meetings, manuals, and so on.

 [Contents]  [Search]  [Abbey]

[Search all CoOL documents]

[Search all CoOL documents]