Better Paper refers to a better formula of “ingredients” or inputs plus the production “design” of paper including the pulping, paper-making, printing, distribution, and recycling.
In my recent blog, How to Prevent a Green Backlash Against your Brand, I talk about potential dangers to brands that come from not knowing what’s in your paper – the ingredients and design. If the paper is made with fiber from forests of high conservation-value, or from mills with dangerous pollution discharges and heavy carbon emissions, then the brand increases its risk of public backlash.

Here is a table of some better paper ingredients vs. “old-school” and brand-risking ingredients:

Better Paper
Lighter basis weight Heavier basis weight
Recycled content & agricultural residue Virgin tree-fiber & GMO trees
Oxygen delignification, Processed Chlorine-Free
& Totally Chlorine-Free
Inefficient and lower-yield Elemental Chlorine-Free
Forest Stewardship Council certification SFI, CSA, PEFC
No/Low carbon energy sources: Wind, Solar, & Biogas Heavy carbon energy sources: Coal, Oil, and Biomass

The bad news is that virtually all magazine grade paper contains most of the “brand-risk” ingredients and few, if any, of the better paper ingredients. The good news is that doesn’t have to be the case. There are many different environmentally-responsible paper options on the market from a variety of different paper mills, merchants, and printers. You can see a partial list of magazines that are currently using recycled paper on our website.

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Tags: design


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