Offset and Digital Printing in Cleveland Ohio

Questions and Answers Regarding Recycled Paper for Print

To qualify as "recycled paper" a sheet must meet minimum reclaimed content standards established by federal, state and municipal governments, and the paper industry. Fibre content in paper usually consists of post-consumer and pre-consumer reclaimed fibre plus virgin pulp. Recycled paper must contain a minimum of 30% post consumer fiber by weight. General thinking is to encourage the highest post-consumer recycled content whenever possible, providing that "fitness for purpose" and performance criteria are taken into consideration.

Why use recycled paper?
Reduces landfill. Recycled paper diverts waste paper from entering landfills. Landfills are a source of methane emissions and are rapidly becoming full, making fewer sites available.
Places less strain on global forest resources. Paper recycling optimizes the use of a valuable material and reduces the amount of virgin pulp required. Although forests are increasingly managed in a sustainable way, there is a need to reduce waste by using more recycled content.
Saves water and energy. Producing recycled paper uses up to 70% less energy than virgin paper, as well as using far less water. For every ton (about two pallets) of 100% post-consumer recycled paper purchased—instead of virgin fiber paper—we save at least 8,000 of water and up to 4,000 Kwh of electricity, enough to power a three-bedroom house for a year.
Three components of recycled paper:
Conservator's waste: Waste from a paper mill's cutting or slitting operation undertaken to meet a commercial order.
Printer's waste: Printed or unprinted waste collected from a printing operation; may be either "trimmings" (guillotine waste), "overs," rejects," or any other similar waste received direct from a printer.
Domestic, household or office waste: Waste collected from either of these places which may be printed or unprinted.
What is post-consumer waste?
  This is paper that has been used by the consumer and returned for recycling, thus keeping it out of a landfill. The more post-consumer waste that is incorporated into recycled material the better!
What is pre-consumer waste?
  Pre-consumer waste occurs as a by-product to the printing process, such as printer's trim, make-ready and overs.
Is ink removed from recycled paper?
  Sometimes the ink is not removed from the paper when it is processed but, instead, allowed to disperse into the pulp, discoloring it slightly—which is why some recycled paper can have a grayish tinge.
With de-inking, what happens to the ink?
  When recycled paper is de-inked, the ink is removed from recycled pulp and then can be burned to generate energy to run the paper mill, or sold to make useful materials such as compost or gravel for roads.


The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) is an independent, not for profit, non-government organization established to support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

FSC’s vision is where the world’s forests meet the social, ecological, and economic rights and needs of the present generation without compromising those of future generations.

The FSC trademarks are the primary communication tool for FSC certificate holders, like Master Printing and Mailing, to demonstrate that their products (specifically the paper we use) meets the standards set by FSC. The FSC trademarks can be used on products only by holders of FSC chain of custody (CoC) certificates or joint FSC forest management and chain of custody (FM/CoC) certificates.


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