Mayer Print & Mail


Environmental Sustainability

Environmental FAQs

Q: Why recycle?
A: Recycling is an effective way to conserve our resources, minimize waste and protect our environment. For many organizations, being green is becoming mandatory because their customers and stakeholders demand it.

Q: Why buy recycled paper?
A: In fact, the paper industry is already in the sustainability business, planting an average of three trees for every one that is harvested. But it is still environmentally sound to use recycled products. Virgin paper uses between 2 and 4.4 tons of trees to produce 1 ton of pulp. Using recycled fiber takes about 1.4 tons out of the land fill to produce 1.0 tons of recycled fiber. In addition, less water, fewer chemicals and less energy are required.

Q: How good is recycled paper quality?
A: There is a wide variety of recycled papers that meet the same brightness, opacity and technical specifications as their virgin counterparts. Products come in all the colors, weights and sizes of virgin papers. Printability is comparable to virgin paper. The only difference you might see if you have a very good eye is very small fines of dirt from the de-inked fiber and a very slight gray cast to the sheet. On the other hand, the earthy, recycled look has gained popularity in many market segments and is viewed as a benefit to company image.

Q: What is the difference between fiber that is “recycled” and “recycled with post-consumer waste?”
A: Post consumer waste (PCW) is waste produced by the end consumer. Discarded paper products are recycled by breaking them down to the fiber level and reusing the material in the manufacture of new paper. Although a paper may have a higher total recycled content, it will also come from pre consumer waste (typically scraps from the manufacturing process). PCW recycled content is the most meaningful because it is waste which would otherwise find itself in a landfill.

Q: What is chlorine bleaching and how is it significant?
A: For many years virgin fiber was bleached with hypochlorite, a compound that reacts with organic materials and may produce dioxins or its pre-cursors in the reaction. Most virgin pulp mills have stopped using this chemistry and are substituting chlorine dioxide in the bleaching stages. This virtually eliminates dioxin and its associated compounds from the waste water. This process is called elemental chlorine free (ECF). Some mills are totally chlorine free (TCF) meaning they bleach with oxygen, ozone or peroxide. In the recycled fiber reclamation, sometimes the fiber is de-inked and decolorized with these same processes. Process chlorine free (PCF) paper is comprised of pulp that is unbleached or bleached without the use of additional chlorine or chlorine derivatives. The recycled fiber in PCF paper may have been bleached with chlorine or chlorine derivatives in a previous incarnation and therefore cannot be called TCF.

Q: What is the impact of ink and other chemicals?
A: Vegetable-based inks, like soy, are preferable because they come from renewable sources. Solvents used in the printing process (commonly for clean up) are traditionally heavy in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This means that they evaporate easily into the atmosphere and interact with other elements to create smog pollution. Combined with use guidelines, many printers are now using a new generation of very low VOCs to greatly reduce their impact.

Q: What should the choice be?
A: Actually it’s up to you. Some environmental organizations suggest the recycled papers with the highest level of post consumer waste. Others are more concerned about harvesting practices and the ensured sustainability of forests. And still others like to promote the use of alternative crops such as the sugar cane or cotton.

Q: When can I use the recycled bug?
A: Anytime, because its use is not protected. It can imply recycled content or the fact that the product can be recycled. Many environmentalists do not use the recycle bug for this reason. Responsible use of the recycled bug includes a statement that specifies the percent and type of recycled content in the product.

Q: How can I make a difference for my company?
A: If your company does not already have an environmental policy or guidelines for procuring green products, it shouldn’t stop you. The reality is that going green is easier than ever. Most companies can find green alternatives that fit their style and budget. You really shouldn’t have to sacrifice. One of the easiest (and most visible) areas to transition is with your business identity items like business cards, letterhead, envelopes, etc.

Mayer Print & Mail
1040 Segovia Circle • Placentia, CA 92870
Toll-Free: 1.800.356.2769 • Phone: 1.714.630.4244 • Fax: 1.714.630.0942