If you are interested in starting a Buying Club, we have put together a small tip sheet on our efforts in consumer campaigns.
Greenpeace is running a tissue campaign at
The Greenpeace guide is designed to be printed to take with you when you shop and lists sources for toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels and napkins.
For the United States (primarily) the Environmental Paper Network maintains
an impressive database of environmentally friendly papers, from tissues
to printing papers.
How many trees can you save by using recycled paper? The answer, as
with so many things in life, is "It depends." Depends on the
kind of paper, the manufacturing process, and the amount of recycled
content. You can find more information on the highly recommended conservatree
As for pollution, it also depends on a lot of variables in the manufacturing process, but you can get some rough estimates at these sites:
Recycling is very important and buying recycled products is good.
However, the chlorine-based chemicals that are used to bleach pulp cause serious pollution. Unbleached paper is fine for most uses. Where bleaching is necessary, buy products bleached with oxygen based bleaches.
Most products will continue to need some small amount of virgin fibre (new pulp made from trees, flax, hemp, straw, etc.) to reinforce recycled pulp or impart high strength to items like packaging boxes. By demanding products with unbleached or oxygen-bleached virgin pulp, you help make sure the industry switches to more environmentally friendly practices.
There are many aspects to the Wise Use of Paper.
It might be, but then again, it might not!
There is a lot of misleading advertising out there today. To you and me, "chlorine free" means no chlorine, period. But to some paper company advertisers, it only means "no elemental chlorine." In other words, no pure chlorine gas has been used, but other forms of chlorine, for example chlorine dioxide, have been used instead.
This is not good enough. Misleading tactics like this confuse consumers who are trying to make the right choice for their families and the environment.
Look for products that are Totally Chlorine Free, or Process (Secondarily) Chlorine Free.
If you can't find them, contact your store manager or the manufacturer
and tell them you won't buy their product until all chlorinated bleached
have been eliminated. The
TCF, or Totally Chlorine Free, signifies virgin pulp (not recycled) that has been bleached with no chlorine compounds. The common TCF bleaches are all oxygen-based chemicals: oxygen, ozone, and hydrogen peroxide.
PCF, or Process Chlorine Free, indicates that a product is made with recycled fibres and that no chlorine compounds have been used in the recycling process. The original paper may or may not have been bleached with chlorine. This is almost impossible to determine until all virgin pulp and paper is made by TCF processes. PCF products combine the benefits of recycling and oxygen-based bleaching.
ECF, or Elemental Chlorine Free, is a pulp industry term created to describe pulp bleached without "elemental" chlorine gas, but this process still uses chlorine compounds. ECF usually refers to chlorine dioxide. The term is misleading because some elemental chlorine is found in chlorine dioxide mills. While toxic by-products are reduced by ECF, they are not eliminated.