Paper

Description of Environmental Purchasing Policy

The Paper section of the Environmental Purchasing Policy covers the following Purchasing Services commodity clusters: Advertising, Printing, and Signage.

It is mandated that purchasers procure a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled paper content for all uses of paper products, including but not limited to daily print jobs, flyers, letters, presentation outlines, and syllabi. Purchasers should not buy virgin paper, which is paper with no recycled content.

Additionally, the Policy suggests that purchasers take the next step and use paper products with 100% post-consumer recycled content. Purchasers are also encouraged to procure paper that is unbleached or chlorine free. The fibers of recycled paper products have been processed once, so manufacturing them conserves resources and generates less pollution; they also reduce solid waste because it diverts usable paper from the waste stream.  You more information on the benefits of using recycled paper here.

Waste-Reducing Alternatives to Purchasing this Product

Purchasers should consider emailing letters to mailing list recipients, utilizing online invitations and event notices, posting articles and course related information on Blackboard, and reading documents on the computer instead of printing them out. Instead of making copies of a document, scan it into the computer and send it out to the recipients. Alternatives also include printing documents on both sides of the paper, formatting to print multiple pages per sheet, only printing as many sheets as necessary, revising on the computer before printing, and reusing scrap paper for informal documents.

What to Consider when Procuring Paper Products

Recycled content: While 30% post-consumer recycled paper content is what is mandated by the University, 100% post-consumer recycled content is preferable.

Misconceptions: The misconceptions that virgin paper is of higher quality than recycled paper, that virgin paper is more available and inexpensive, or that recycled paper is not as bright as virgin paper are false.  In fact, there is no difference at all between virgin paper and recycled paper in terms of quality, and Supply Central offers free samples of recycled paper to any purchasers who still have doubts.  The price difference is minimal and decreasing rapidly.

Possible Vendors

Below is a list of vendors in the NYU area that offer environmentally-friendly paper products. This is not a comprehensive list, and the Sustainability Task Force has not formally evaluated the vendors listed. However, based on thoughtful research, we believe that the following vendors are a good starting point for purchasers in search of sustainable products and services.

Additional Resources and Information

Humboldt State University Recycled Paper Policy Frequently Asked Questions

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