Printech Archives, June 1997: Re: Recycled content

Re: Recycled content

Jeff Adrian (
2 Jun 1997 07:48:39 -0500

Your referred question from a print buyer on selecting a recycled-content
sheet for a particular print project was a good one, if a bit incomplete. I'll
try to assist here.

The first thing that comes to mind is the question how the project will be
printed (web, as you have indicated), and how the finished product will be
used (service life). This is important as the greater the recycled content of
a sheet, the more short fibers in the sheet, and consequently, a loss in
strength. Printing on a web press requires a somewhat stronger sheet as the
web is under tension during printing. Sheet strength is important in some
finished products, especially if they must be folded and unfolded extensively
in use. you don't want the product to fall apart prematurely. This may, or may
not, be a factor here.

A coated or uncoated sheet with 40% pre-consumer recycled fiber is readily
available. A coated sheet containing 100% recycled fiber (pre and post
consumer) may not even be made. An uncoated 100% recycled fiber sheet is
available, and I'm told that the upcharge would likely be between $2 and $3
per hundredweight. A check of local paper merchants would answer this question
more specifically.

As to the question of how many 17x22 sheets would come from a roll of stock,
that might be interesting to know perhaps, but kind of pointless unless one
also knew the production efficiency of the printer in question, how the job
was laid out, the size of the press used, the weight and caliper of the stock,
etc. You get the idea!

Perhaps the most useful concept here is that the print buyer should select a
sheet, recycled content or virgin, considering how the product is to be
produced, used, and the audiance that will receive the printed piece. Then
choose an appropriate solution with these factors in mind.

That was quite long, and I apologize for the length, but I wanted to do the
subject justice.

Jeff Adrian


ok, heres a more specific question. whats the paper I would want my final
paper is 17x22. It comes off a web press or a 1/2 web. Will the printer
be able to do my job differently than everyone elses? How many 17x22
pages come off a roll of that paper anyway? and How much more expensive
is 100 % than 40%? [100 % post-consumer content vs. 40% post-consumer
content paper]



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