Switching to recycled products takes minimal effort, but can have a
large impact on resource consumption. Consider this, the average
American uses 50 pounds of tissue paper (toilet paper, paper towels,
etc) a year, according to Conservatree, a non-profit seeking to convert
paper markets to environmental papers.
The key to shopping for recycled paper products is to pay
attention to labels. Beyond the brand names and colorful pictures lies
information on recycled content, post consumer waste content and the
method of bleaching used.
Be sure to look for goods that have the highest Post Consumer Waste
(PCW) content. The percentage of PCW in a recycled product refers to
the amount of pulp derived from paper that was used by consumers and
then recycled. This saves trees and promotes the use of recycled paper.
Seek out products labeled Processed Chlorine Free (PCF). This
means that no additional chlorine or chlorine derivatives have been
used to bleach the final recycled product. Elemental Chlorine Free
(ECF) may also appear on labels of recycled products. However, such
labels mean a chlorine derivative has been used to bleach the paper.
Although ECF reduces emissions compared with chlorine gas, it still
contributes dioxins into the environment.
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