The mid-Atlantic regional office of EPA is practicing what it preaches -- recycling.
It announced a new policy today that all of the printing and copy paper that it uses will be 100 percent recycled with 100 percent post-consumer fiber and process chlorine-free.
Currently, the federal government standard for paper is that it only has 30 percent recycled post-consumer content.
"The environmental impact will be significant," said Bradley Campbell, EPA regional administrator. "Based on our anticipated use of copy paper and printed publications in the coming year, the environmental savings over the 30 percent standard for just our region equates to eliminating 73,372 pounds of solid waste, conserving 80,730 gallons of water, saving 105,300 kilowatt hours of electricity, preventing the emission of 133,380 pounds of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, and sparing the cutting of 810 trees that would be used for new paper."
Campbell said that he hopes other federal agencies, state and local governments and the regulated community will follow the agency''s lead.
All of the region''s publications will not only use 100 percent recycled paper with 100 percent post-consumer fiber but will be printed using vegetable-based inks.
Paper that is processed chlorine free reduces the amount of dioxin in wastewater.
The paper mills will use hydrogen peroxide or ozone to bleach the paper rather than using chlorine or chlorine dioxide.
by Virginia Sutcliffe