I've also picked up a bit of discussion regarding "total chlorine free" (TCF)
versus "elemental chlorine free" (ECF) papers. I've spoken w/ Alliance for
Environmental Technology (AET) and gotten info regarding the difference.
According to the info, EPA has recommended ECF papers as being
environmentally appropriate and cost-effective under most circumstances. TCF
papers are (obviously) chlorine free, so they're great, but may not be cost
effective or achieve much greater environmental protection, according to AET.
If the issue of concern is the production of dioxins and furans while in
process, the folks at AET say that ECF papers produce low/no absorbable
organic halides (AOx), the source of dioxins and furans. In producing ECF
papers, paper mills generally use chlorine dioxide, which is the technology
recommended by EPA for the kraft paper industry.
We've had several questions regarding what's best (even for our own
publications and other state agencies), and we're just beginning to
accumulate some info and formulate some decisions.
If you have other info on this issue, please share it around.
George Frantz, SBAP Program