Eco Office Supplies Articles

That's a question we get asked (a lot!) and until now it was hard to give a straight answer.

To be honest none of the office papers available on the market previously met all of our criteria for best practice in sustainability.

Some of the criteria we use to compare office papers include:

- Is it Australian made?
- Is it 100% recycled?
- What percentage is post consumer waste?
- How has the fibre been bleached?
- Is it a premium grade?
- Is it suitable for use in office copiers and printers?

When we learned that Australian Paper were investing in the construction of a $90 million waste paper recycling facility at their Maryvale Mill in Victoria to meet the growing demand for certified recycled paper, we have to say we were pretty excited! It's the only one of its kind in Australia – incorporating the very latest in technology it diverts up to 80,000 tonnes of waste paper from landfill each year; that’s equivalent to 16 billion sheets of A4 copy paper!!!

Australian Paper are literally now able to make a premium grade copy paper from scrap waste paper! So, we Aussies now have a "closed loop" solution.... meaning, we use the paper, we collect the paper, we make new paper again.

At long last, a copy paper that ticks all the green boxes!
Planet Ark 100% Australian Recycled

It's no wonder Planet Ark have put their name to this Australian-made product! We think it could well be the "greenest" white office copy paper that has ever been available on the Australian market!

It's a bright white premium grade sheet with the odd fleck through it. It is made from 100% post consumer waste (standard AS/ISO14021 Environmental Labelling claims). It is FSC certified and also certified carbon neutral through the Australian Government's National Carbon Offset Scheme (NCOS). The de-inked/recycled pulp is whitened using common hydrogen peroxide (‘Peroxide’) which breaks down to oxygen and water. Almost all of the water used to pulp and de-ink the waste paper is cleaned and re-used in the plant and the whole facility is Victoria's largest producer of renewable energy. 
The carton packaging is both recycled and recyclable. Even the waste by-product gets a second life as a soil conditioner for the horticulture industry. And best of all, it's made right here in Australia from waste paper that's been recycled by conscientious Australian folk like you and us.  

How does it compare cost-wise? The pricing is very competitive especially if you order by the pallet of eighty cartons. In fact, if you have a forklift on site we can provide free delivery anywhere in Australia.

There is just one drawback – it's currently only available in A4 size. So, for now if you need the larger A3 size, the Australian brand would be your best bet. It's produced at the same recycling plant and shares many of the same green credentials.

Why is it so important that we support this 'closed loop' recycling initiative by purchasing recycled paper AND recycling our own waste paper?

Without a facility like this recycled pulp for office and printing paper has needed to be imported from overseas; and Australia's waste office paper has been either sent to landfill or overseas for processing into low grade materials like cardboard.

Although it's very tempting to buy the cheapest imported copy paper. Take a moment to consider the devestating effect of deforestation and the long term global environmental consequences. Not to mention the loss of Australian jobs.

Australian Paper have gone out on a limb (pardon the pun) in investing $90M in the recycling industry as part of their fibre sourcing strategy. They need (and deserve) our support. It's hard for them to compete with cheap, imported papers manufactured by companies who couldn't give two hoots about the environment.

If you don't already have a recycling program in place at your workplace, check out our extensive range of recycling bins and educational posters
 and encourage your team to sort their waste by the Australian colour-coded system.

Is your recycled copy paper imported from overseas?

Buying local just makes sense. Australian Paper is the only local manufacturer of copy and fine paper products, employing around 1,400 Australians. We create local jobs, we use our own waste paper, instead of importing waste from overseas (think of the carbon kms) and we divert our own paper waste from landfill.

Removing 80,000 tonnes of waste paper from Australia's landfill saves up to 200,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, which is equal to taking more than 70,000 cars off Australia's roads!

What should I look for when choosing a copy paper for our office?

Choose a copy paper that is:
- Australian made

- 100% post-consumer recycled
- FSC Certified or other sustainable certification
- Oxygen bleached

When considering what NOT to buy:

- Do not buy paper made from old growth forests (obviously!)
- Do 
not buy paper that has been chlorine bleached
- Do 
not be fooled by claims of 'carbon neutral' paper.
This is only beneficial if all the other green boxes are ticked because you can't slash and burn down a forest and magic it away by purchasing a handful of carbon credits!

So, please join us in getting behind Australian Paper and make the switch to purchasing products manufactured at their new recycling plant.
In all your purchasing decisions, consider the sustainability advantages of Australian-made 100 per cent recycled paper over imports. Be proud to 'buy local' and do the right thing for the environment!




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