Chlorine Free Paper Issues


Copier Equipment Experts

LISTENING STUDY: We're hearing from many people that they're afraid to use recycled paper because it would void their copier warranty. Does your warranty say that?

"I have never heard of warranty limitations on the use of recycled paper in copiers. Our environmental assessment of the copiers we use asks if the machine has been designed to use recycled paper; they all are. Some printers, rather than copiers, might not say they're designed for recycled." - Larry Rogero, Kinko's

LISTENING STUDY: What is your policy regarding use of recycled paper in your copiers?

"We stock all our self-service machines with recycled paper. We have increased our use of recycled paper, from 6% of our total fiber usage to 14% of our total fiber usage; we have seen no impact on our productivity from that shift." - Larry Rogero, Kinko's

"NASA requires its copier equipment vendor to also provide recycled paper that works. The vendor has to take out any machines in which the paper doesn't work or causes problems. Suddenly, the service technicians stopped blaming the paper." - Fran McPoland, former Federal Environmental Executive, National Recycling Coalition conference, January 2002

LISTENING STUDY: Is there any problem with using recycled paper in your copiers? Specifically, is there a problem with dusting (which can impair the operation of optical sensors) generated by higher postconsumer content papers?

"We have had problems with a particular recycled product. We ran a 100% postconsumer paper that jammed frequently in our big high-speed copiers. I think it was a bad run or bad mill; I don't think the problems were necessarily due to the recycled content. Other branches use only 100% pcc in their high-speed copiers and don't experience any problems. One of our branches stocks all express copiers with 100% pcc, and doesn't experience any problems." - Larry Rogero, Kinko's

LISTENING STUDY: Do you train copier maintenance people to be positive towards use of recycled paper?

"We do not specifically train our employees regarding recycled paper. We do get technicians who say that copier problems are due to the poor quality of the paper, but the paper quality isn't based on the recycled content. Virgin papers have problems too." - Larry Rogero, Kinko's

LISTENING STUDY: Can you tell us anything else to help us get a clearer picture of the use of recycled in your copiers? Have you done any tests or studies?

"Regarding the recycled paper that we run in our test units, which contains 30 percent post-consumer content, BLI Senior Test Technician Bernard Lyons has found no noticeable difference in the runnability of recycled paper versus virgin paper. In a survey we published in January 2001, close to 40 percent of the respondents reported using recycled paper, with 100 percent of them reporting being satisfied with the paper." - Daria Hoffman, Buyers Laboratory, Inc., an independent office products testing laboratory, Hackensack, NJ

Excerpts from "Recycled Paper: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," Special Report by Lynda Perini, Associate Editor, Buyers Laboratory, Inc., October 1995 (Buyers Laboratory, Inc., an independent office products testing laboratory in Hackensack, NJ, tests copier models for subscribers such as major corporations and always includes recycled paper in the paper used to test the machines.):
      "We've contacted purchasers, users and manufacturers of both recycled paper and office equipment, as well as industry experts. The report also incorporates information obtained from a survey on the use and runnability of recycled paper sent to our subscribers. . . .
      To keep this report in perspective for the general office, we've kept the focus primarily on copy paper, that is, paper generally used in office equipment such as printers, copiers and facsimile machines. . . .
      BLI received a total of 210 responses, which were split evenly between recycled paper users and non-uers - 51 and 49 percent, respectively. . . .
      BLI's survey results indicated that an overwhelming 90 percent of recycled paper users rated runnability as either the 'most important' or a 'very important' purchasing criteria. . . . And of those who do not use recycled paper, among the top reasons cited were concerns about how it would perform in office equipment, either based on hearsay (27 percent) or experience (25 percent). . . . However, judging by the 82 percent of responses that found the runnability of recycled paper to be either 'excellent' or 'good,' it seems that for the most part, recycled paper is meeting users' expectations. . . .
      The 84 respondents who use recycled paper commented on its use in 240 specific office products. . . . [F]or the most part the need for service and for user maintenance has remained the same since recycled paper has been used instead of virgin paper. . . . Only 16 percent of responses cited an increased need for service since recycled paper has been used in their equipment, while 84 percent said service levels had remained the same. . . .
      [M]ost subscribers interviewed by BLI agreed that its runnability is largely comparable to that of virgin paper. As a matter of fact, BLI's own experiences with recycled paper also reflect this. In BLI's copier testing, 10 percent of the total volume of paper used is recycled paper with 20 percent post-consumer content . . . . This paper is used in about 50 to 60 copiers per year, and technicians have reported that this paper runs with no more problems than virgin paper. . . .
      Most of the paper manufacturers we spoke to said that recycled papers offer a performance equivalent to that of their virgin counterparts, without excessive misfeeding. It is the physical characteristics of the paper, such as surface smoothness, thickness and porosity - not recycled paper content - that determine whether the paper will run well, they said . . . ."

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