The Paper Story
A second rich source of information is the Paper Stewardship Scheme launched by The New Zealand Paper Forum to promote papers sound credentials as a sustainable product and responsible communications choice.
This introduced the concept of stewardship throughout the product lifecycle and set voluntary standards aimed at minimising the impact of paper on the environment and promoting the benefits of using paper as a renewable resource.
The Paper Stewardship Scheme has four main targets:
1. Measure and benchmark paper recovery rates
2. Give a best practice guide on waste minimisation and recycling
3. Promote an education strategy for buyers and consumers of paper products
4. Promote informed debate on issues such as paper waste versus e-waste (the waste created by products such as cell phones, computers and old inkjet printers, which are rarely recycled and end up in landfills).
New Zealands recovery and recycling of paper is at worlds best-practice levels with nearly 70% of all paper product in New Zealand recovered for recycling.
No native trees are used to make paper or paper-related products in New Zealand. Paper here is made predominantly from radiata pine and eucalyptus species, which have been specifically grown for harvest.
If we didnt use sawmill residue to make our newsprint, it would be exported to another paper maker, burned or left to rot. In fact only 11% of the wood extracted from the worlds forests goes into the paper industry.
The stewardship scheme addresses a noted lack of recognition for the environmental strides made by the industry. Phillip Lawrence, Director of EcoLogical Strategies Pty Ltd in Sydney and an acknowledged expert in industry green achievements, comments:
If anyone were to describe an industry that would fit the perfect environmental model it would be along the lines of: an industry based on naturally-renewable resources, which draws the majority of its energy requirements from carbon-neutral sources, and results in products that are reusable and easily recycled.
There is probably only one industry that satisfies all the criteria of the perfect everyday product for the environment paper.
Copies of The Paper Story can be obtained by emailing [email protected]