Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 1, Number 1
Mar 1995


New Executive Order Mandates at Least 20% Postconsumer Content

On New Year's weekend, an Executive Order signed by President Clinton went into effect, mandating the federal government buy only recycled paper containing at least 20% postconsumer content. The new rules also commit the federal government to buy paper with at least 30% postconsumer content by the end of 1998.

Demand for Recycled Paper Finally Catches up with Supply

Two or three years ago, so much waste paper was being collected that the few deinking plants then in existence could not process it all, and curbside collection programs had to pay to have it hauled away. Other factors like the recession only made the situation worse. Now demand has risen here and abroad, and processing facilities have multiplied. As a result, the demand for recovered paper has risen dramatically. According to a price survey reported in Recycling Times in December and summarized in Recycled Paper News for February, the price paid by processors for old newspapers has quadrupled in the last four years. In 1994, some mills had to scramble to find recycled feedstock, the RPN article says. Newspaper publishers have been hit hard by the resultant increase in the cost of newsprint, which has increased 36% in one year. Several have cut down the size of their papers, the Miami Herald cut 30 to 40 jobs, and the Milwaukee Journal was permanently shut down.

A New Paper History Museum

Elaine Koretsky, a leading hand papermaker, has announced the opening of the Research Institute of Paper History, connected with Carriage House Hand Papermaking, in Brookline, Massachusetts. It houses a complete hand papermaking facility; a library of old, rare and modern books dealing with paper history and the technology of papermaking; and manuscripts illustrating book forms in many old cultures; and a collection of tools, equipment and artifacts gathered from all over the world. For more information call 617/232-1636.

Scientists Rate Soundness of Research by Groups and Agencies

The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition polled over 500 medical and natural science researchers last year, according to Recycled Paper News for January, and asked them to rate how responsibly various groups and agencies carried out research. The National Institutes of Health received the highest rating, 85 out of 100 points. The Food and Drug Administration was rated 74.4, the EPA 65.1. The Center for Science in the Public Interest rated the same as private industry science, about 60, slightly above the Natural Resources Defense Council. Scientists polled believed that 44.4% of research projects conducted by government agencies are done to meet pre-established objectives.

Twelve Sponsors found for ISR Research Program on Permanence

As of March 24, the following organizations had committed funding for the Institute for Standards Research research on the Effects of Aging on Printing and Writing Papers, the purpose of which is to develop accelerated aging tests for new performance-based permanence standards. (Most permanence standards now in use specify composition, rather than performance.)

Alberta Economic Development & Tourism*
Australian Archives*
DuPont Canada Inc.*
Fibreco Pulp Inc.*
Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd.*
Guild of Fine Art Care and Treatment Standards*
Industry Canada*
Millar Western Pulp Ltd.*
National Archives & Records Administration
National Information Standards Organization
National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property
National Institute of Standards and Technology*
New Jersey State Purchase Bureau*
Rainy River Forest Products, Inc.*
Simpson Paper Company*
Slave Lake Pulp Corporation*
Tembec Inc.*
U.S.D.A. Forest Products Laboratory
U.S. Library of Congress*
West Fraser Pulp Sales*

*full (major) sponsors

They are divided about equally between Canadian and U.S. organizations, and between producers and users.

ISO 9000 Certifications

Boise Cascade's paper mill in Jackson, Alabama, received ISO 9002 certification last November for its uncoated freesheet paper quality system. It converted to alkaline in 1990, but went back to acid soon afterward.

Westvaco's Tyrone mill, which has made alkaline paper since 1986, was certified under ISO 9002 last September.

P.H. Glatfelter's Ecusta Division makes PCC-filled freesheet, both for cigarettes and for printing. Its cigarette paper system received ISO 9002 certification recently.

Crane & Co. in Dalton, Massachussetts, was certified for ISO 9002 in November.

The headquarters and sales staff of Georgia-Pacific's Communication Papers Division, based in Atlanta, received ISO 9002 certification in December. Steve Church, in the corporate Communications Group, said March 29 that they are unaware of any other uncoated freesheet company in the U.S. whose administration has received ISO certification.

International Paper & Environmental Issues

In 1992, the Council on Economic Priorities (CEP), an environmental watchdog group, reported that International Paper (IP) had been prohibited from selling paper to the federal government and fined $2.2 million for hazardous waste at its Androscoggin mill in Jay, Maine.

In December 1993 CEP published its list of the ten top corporate polluters, in which IP was cited as having the greatest number of worker health and safety violations, the second highest level of toxic releases, and the second largest hazardous waste fine. IP later protested, saying that when data are adjusted for sales, its standing in the list is much lower, and that its company-wide injury rate is half the average for the industry and half the rate for manufacturing in general. Furthermore, IP said, the government had not barred it from federal contracts; it had initiated proceedings but withdrew a few months later. (In fact, it sold a large amount of its greyish-tan recycled paper to the government in 1994.)

In another arena, IP has announced that it has adopted the sustainable forestry guidelines developed by the American Forest & Paper Association. These guidelines include commitments to reforest its land by planting or direct reseeding within two years, or by planned natural regeneration within five years. Before harvesting on adjacent lands, it will allow harvested land to grow for at least three years or to a height of five feet. It will educate loggers and landowners on environmental matters and issue annual reports on its progress.

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