RCA Newsletter - Month 2002 
TABLE OF CONTENTS

LEAD STORY: Can a Patriot Advocate Wood Reduction?

FEATURE STORY: It's All in the Wrapping: Addressing the Wastefulness of Packaging

NEWS BRIEFS
a) South Trades Forests for Paper
b) Feds Buy Potato-based Plates
c) 2001 Proved Poor Year for Recycled Paper
d) What Goes Around Comes Around
e) Wood Advocated as Renewable Energy
f) Authors Require Recycled Paper
g) If the First Little Pig Had Only Known About Hemp
h) California Greening: Government Buildings Conserve Materials
i) Companies Trade Postman for Internet during the Holidays
j) Sprechen Sie "Green?": Germany Takes Huge Leap Toward Sustainability

CAMPAIGNS & EVENTS
recycling
furniture
campus
chlorine free

RESOURCES & ANNOUNCEMENTS
University of New Hampshire
Closing the Circle Awards


LEAD STORY

Can a Patriot Advocate Wood Reduction?

In the fallout after September 11, government officials and the media have increasingly encouraged Americans to consume in the name of patriotism, according to Grist Magazine's December 14, 2001 article, "Buy, Buy, Miss American Pie" by David Helvarg. In order to encourage consumer spending, a 10-day sales tax moratorium was proposed by members of Congress, among other plans. Helvarg asserts that the "shop 'till you drop" mentality of mindless consumption and consumer debt can only prop up an economy for so long. (In the mean time, forests suffer as a multitude of wood products are consumed in the frenzy.) As pointed out in Grist Magazine's December 14, 2001 article, "I want You ... To Buy More Stuff" by Jane Holtz Kay, this "buy first" motto is a far cry from the various conservation oriented slogans promoted during World War II, such as "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."


FEATURE STORY
It's All in the Wrapping: Addressing the Wastefulness of Packaging

European countries may be doubling the recycling of packaging waste over the next five years reported Reuters News Service on December 10, 2001 in "EU Set to Double Packaging Recycling Targets." The European Union's executive arm issued new proposed rules which would increase recycling of packaging from the current 25-45 percent minimum to a target of 55-70 percent, depending on the type of packaging. Paper and board, in particular, will have a target of 55 percent. The new rules now go to the member states and the European Parliament for approval.

European countries are also moving forward with enforcement of packaging requirements, according to the December 12, 2001 Recycling Policy NewsBriefs Email Bulletin for Raymond Communications, Inc. Fortune 500 companies are receiving letters on this topic. Requirements often require manufacturers to determine if their packaging is recoverable, recyclable, compostable, reusable and source reduced.

On this side of the Atlantic, recycled packaging has received attention with the publication of the report, "Greener Cartons: A Buyer's Guide to Recycled-Content Paperboard" published by the Alliance for Environmental Innovation, a project of Environmental Defense. The report recommends that by adding 35 percent post-consumer recycled fiber in packaging materials, a number of environmental benefits result. Recycled paperboard competes favorably with virgin board in terms of appearance, quality and costs, with variety and availability improving dramatically in recent years. The report states that food service, medicines, cosmetics and tobacco packaging still chiefly use 100 percent virgin bleached paperboard.

Packaging may receive more scrutiny from an upcoming study, "Greening of Print" to be released by Nima Hunter, a New York City market research firm, reported Greenbiz.com in its December 19, 2001 article, "Beyond-compliance Study Probes Print Industry." According to Nima Hunter, the printing, packaging and publishing industry generates more than $1 trillion in annual revenue worldwide while depleting resources and producing waste. This series of benchmark studies will be used to forecast trends in sustainability practices among the 2,000 largest print companies in the world.

Perhaps, the most unusual "packaging" news of late is the Agricultural Research Service's development of edible packaging. According to Paper, Film and Foil Converter magazine's December 2001 article, "Will We Soon be Eating the Film Along with the Food," a new film made of pureed fruits and vegetables could replace numerous packaging materials for foods. The article states that littering and recycling would not be an issue, since consumers would simply eat the packaging. If that becomes the case, wood/paper packaging for food could one day become obsolete.

Packaging issues will be discussed at the 2002 Take It Back! Conference in Las Vegas on March 6-7, 2002. For more information, see Raymond Communications.


NEWS BRIEFS

a) South Trades Forests for Paper
A two-year study by the U.S. Forest Service forecasts that harvesting of timber for lumber, paper and other products in the South will increase more than 50 percent through 2040 -- far exceeding the rate of new growth for hardwoods, according to the November 27, 2001 article, "Vast Loss of Forests Forecast" in The Atlanta Journal Constitution. But, the study stated that urbanization was the biggest threat to forests in the Southeast. Environmental groups criticized the findings as too weak, stating that lands are already severely overlogged, putting the environment and local economies at risk.

b) Feds Buy Potato-based Plates
The downsides of Executive Order 13101 -- which among other mandates called for federal agencies to purchase biobased products -- are that the "biobased" definition included wood-based products, federal agencies have been slow to enact the biobased portion and the focus has increasingly shifted to bioenergy. However, the Fall 2001 issue of Closing the Circle News produced by the White House Task Force on Recycling reported some progress. The newsletter states that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) -- one of the main purchasing arms of the federal government -- for inclusion of biobased products in DLA's product catalogs, making it easier to purchase biobased products. The newsletter highlights various categories of potential biobased products including building materials and composites, papers and packaging. It also describes a case study in which the Department of the Interior (DOI) carried out a pilot project using biobased plates and bowls in its cafeteria on a regular basis. The Earthshell products are made from limestone, potato starch and post-consumer recycled paper. For more on government purchasing, see <www.gpp.org>.

c) 2001 Proved Poor Year for Recycled Paper
One of the first nationally distributed recycled papers -- Fraser Halopaque 30 percent post-consumer content -- is officially being discontinued, reported Ecoprint in its November-December 2001 newsletter, "Fraser Halopaque, RIP." The wave of consolidation in the paper industry has been particularly hard on recycled paper, as numerous recycled paper mills closed in 2001, and Halopaque is just the latest victim. The consumption of recovered paper (used to make recycled paper -- a key alternative to virgin wood consumption) fell by 3.5 percent in 2000 and by an estimated 1.4 percent in 2001, reported Waste News' December 20, 2001 article, "Recovered Paper Decline Expected to Rebound, Paper Group Says." But, the American Forest & Paper Association forecasts that recycled fiber use will increase by an average of 3.1 percent in each of the next three years.

d) What Goes Around Comes Around
In Business magazine reports in its November/December 2001 issue on numerous ways that organizations, companies and individuals are reusing materials -- an efficient and cost effective way to reduce the consumption of new wood products. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is launching a deconstruction training program, according to "National Deconstruction Training Program Announced." Deconstruction -- the disassembly of buildings to recover and sell valuable materials -- is a growing industry which could create 200,000 jobs nationally, providing small business development opportunities. "Home and Planet: Top Ten Gift Picks" lists numerous holiday gift ideas made from recycled materials, such as "Relan bags" made from old billboards and photo frames made from recycled copper car radiators. Meanwhile, "Driving Economics and Design with the Same Engine," describes a partnership between an arts council and an economic development corporation to create and market locally produced home furnishings from recycled materials.

e) Wood Advocated as Renewable Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has published "Renewable Energy Maps" for different regions of the country. Among the categories of renewable energy is "wood energy potential." Energy production is one of the myriad ways in which we consume wood. For more information on the maps, see DOE's Energy Maps.

f) Authors Require Recycled Paper
A Green Press Initiative has been launched to help the book publishing sector potentially save millions of trees. Founding authors and spokespeople for the Green Press Initiative include Deepak Chopra, Paul Hawken, Winona LaDuke, Dr. Andrew Weil, Julia Butterfly Hill, Fritjof Capra and David Suzuki. The initiative encourages authors to contractually require their publishers to print books on recycled paper. According to the initiative, U.S. book publishers consumed approximately 1.93 million tons of paper in 2000 (estimated to equal approximately 40 million trees). For more information, see <www.recycledproducts.org>. For RCA's factsheet on publishers, see Using Less Wood: Focus on Publishers.

g) If the First Little Pig Had Only Known About Hemp
Global Hemp News Digest, Volume 2, Issue 39 reported that a mother from Suffolk has moved into one of Great Britain's two houses built using industrial hemp for walls, floors and roofing in "Mum Rents One of Britain's First Cannabis Houses" (source: Ananova Ltd.). The two-bedroom, 70,000 home used five tons of non-narcotic industrial hemp, legally grown in Britain. An industrial hemp house is also being built in Ontario, Canada, according to a Hempola November 26, 2001 press release. When completed, the "Hempola Round House" will have hemp bail walls. For more information, on hemp see our <woodconsumption.org> site.

h) California Greening: Government Buildings Conserve Materials
California anticipates that state infrastructure needs, such as new schools and office buildings will exceed $82 billion in the next ten years. Following up on Gov. Davis' Executive Order D-16-00, California's Sustainable Building Task Force released, "Building Better Buildings: A Blueprint for Sustainable State Facilities," December 2001. Among other sustainable building goals, the executive order called for state buildings that are models of materials efficiency. The entire document can be viewed at <http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/GreenBuilding/Blueprint/Blueprint.pdf>.

i) Companies Trade Postman for Internet during the Holidays
Proving that environmental measures can be economically beneficial as well, numerous European blue-chip companies have shifted from paper greeting cards to e-mail greetings, according to "E-cards Take Over Corporate Christmas Greetings," December 19, 2001, Reuters News Service. Some companies use e-card initiatives to cut costs, while others donate the savings to charities, but all of them have an impact on reducing wood consumption.

j) Sprechen Sie "Green?": Germany Takes Huge Leap Toward Sustainability
As part of a comprehensive sustainability strategy, Germany's Chancellery Minister of State Hans Martin Bury announced plans to halve the country's raw materials and energy consumption by the year 2020, reported Edie Weekly Summaries on December 21, 2001 in "Newsflash: Germany Plans to Halve Raw Material and Energy Consumption by 2020." Bury called upon the need for "...a societal consensus on the ideal of sustainability..."

CAMPAIGNS & EVENTS

The National Recycling Congress is holding its annual conference in Seattle, Washington from January 13-16. For more information, see their website at <http://www.nrc-recycle.org>.

Greenpeace / Rainforest Relief activists are launching a campaign against furniture manufacturers for their consumption of wood from ancient tropical forests, particularly mahogany. Mahogany is often logged illegally and then laundered through "legal" documents. The campaign is targeting Ethan Allen, Stickley and Colonial Williamsburg which has licensed Stickley to produce a line of mahogany Colonial Williamsburg furniture. For more information, contact Tim Keating, Greenpeace, <http://www.greenpeaceusa.org>, 202.319.2448.

National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology program is launching a Driving Sustainable Markets campaign which will host a "Teach-In" consisting of a one-hour "on demand" web-based course focused on sustainably harvested woods, recycled paper, conservation coffee, renewable energy and efficient computers starting in April 2002. The course will be taught by the Director of Procurement for Rutgers University and author of Buying for the Future. For more information, contact Kathy Cacciola at cacciola@nwf.org or 703.438.6318 or visit www.nwf.org/campusecology.

Growing Chlorine Free Markets: A World Summit will be held on January 24-25 in South Miami Beach, Florida. For more information, contact the Chlorine Free Products Association at info@chlorinefreeproducts.org.

RESOURCES & ANNOUNCEMENTS

University of New Hampshire's administration is testing high post-consumer recycled paper and has determined that the price difference between recycled and virgin Boise Cascade paper is small. The Student Senate has overwhelmingly passed a resolution to switch to 100 percent recycled by 2005.

The White House is accepting nominations for its Closing the Circle Awards -- a program which recognizes Federal employees and their facilities for environmental initiatives. Some of the award categories include waste/pollution prevention, recycling, affirmative procurement, environmental preferability and model facility demonstrations. The nominations are accepted until January 31, 2002. For more information, contact the White House Task Force on Recycling at Task_Force@ofee.gov.