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Keywords:

  • life cycle assessment;
  • materials choice;
  • paper recycling;
  • procurement;
  • pulp and paper industry;
  • sustainable forest management

Summary

The PaperTask Force, a group of major U.S. paper purchasers convened by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), recently completed a life cycle-based study of various grades of paper that examined a broad range of economic, functional, and especially environmental issue. This 28-month effort culminated in the release of a final report and recommendations intended to educate paper purchasers about the consequences of their paper purchasing decisions. The report also provides actionable steps that can be taken to increase the purchase and use of environmentally preferable paper; defined as paper that reduces environmental impacts while meeting business needs. The technical basis for the PaperTask Force recommendations is an analysis of environmental impacts associated with the entire life cycle of several major grades of paper; reaching literally from the forest to the 1andfill. The Task Force's findings and recommendations cover each of the major areas of opportunity to lessen the environmental impacts of using paper: reduction in paper use; paper recycling and buying recycled paper: forest management; and pulp and paper manufacturing. journal of Industrial Ecology I5 paper recycling