Recycled vs. Post-Consumer Recycled Paper: Which is Best?

Copy Paper – which one is best?

What exactly is the difference between recycled and post-consumer recycled – and which is best?

Choosing the best eco-friendly paper can be confusing! Hopefully this quick guide will help you understand and make the best choices for your needs.

Recycled paper

‘Recycled content paper’ means the pulp has been made from timber reclaimed from the timber processing waste stream. Contrary to what many people think, it is not made from recycled paper waste (such as we put out with our recycling each week), but is actually still made from virgin pulp, for instance off-cuts when cutting timber planks.

Post-consumer recycled paper

‘Post-consumer recycled content’ paper means the pulp has been made from material that has been used at least once as a paper product and then recycled. This means that no trees are directly cut down to make this content of the paper. Post-consumer recycled content creates demand for waste paper, and much less energy is required to make it. This is the only paper that uses waste paper (such as we recycle).

How do I choose?

Take note of the percentage of recycled or post consumer recycled content

Even when you understand the difference between the different terms, it is very important to take note of the % of recycled or Post-consumer recycled content in any paper you buy. A brand of copy paper might have ‘recycled content’ and splash that advertising around, but it might only be 10% recycled content and the rest virgin wood.

So…when you are choosing which recycled paper to buy, choose the highest post-consumer recycled content you can find; even imported post-consumer is better than Australian Made recycled (according to the Wilderness Society – and we agree).

Here are some good options

We stock the entire range of Ecocern 100% post-consumer recycled paper and paper products, all manufactured in Australia, because we believe it is the best choice available.

We encourage everyone to explore this very important subject and decide what options are the most ethical AND best for your needs. The Wilderness Society guide to recycled paper is a further resource.

Here’s to saving our forests and protecting our atmosphere – one ethical choice at a time.