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There are several factors to consider when choosing a paper on which to print: paper quality, price, and availability. When choosing a paper where sustainability and environmental impacts are concerned, one must also consider type of content, amount of recycled content, and production methods. Recycled paper can contain both pre-consumer pulp substitutes and post-consumer fibers. To meet EPA standards, most recycled papers today include at least 30% post-consumer content (10% for coated papers). In considering production methods, a key concern in relation to environmental impact is chlorine usage in the de-inking and coloring process. When chlorine bonds chemically with carbon-based compounds, such as lignins found in paper, it produces dioxins and other toxic pollutants. In response to this issue, many mills now use alternative methods for this process.


The most appealing readily-available paper in terms of sustainability and environmental impact is Kenaf, produced by Vision Paper Company. In addition to it's obvious tree-free selling point, Vision Paper's Kenaf product is completely chlorine-free. Kenaf papers are available in a variety of weights and finishes, as well as a Kenaf/post consumer recycled blend.


High post consumer recycled content papers are all uncoated, and generally have a fibrous texture. Those that are 100% recycled are usually a blend of a high content of pre-consumer fibers and a lower percentage of post-consumer content. Choices include the French Speckletone, Genesis, and Evergreen 100PC.


Most uncoated stocks contain a minimum of 30% recycled material, usually all of which is post-consumer to meet EPA requirements.


Don Mickey Designs' house coated paper contains a minimum of 20% post-consumer recycled material. All of the coated papers we offer have the EPA required minimum 10% recycled content.