Xerox Unveils Cheaper, ‘Greener’ Paper
Xerox Corp. has announced a new paper for digital printing that the company says uses fewer trees, less water, fewer chemicals and is less expensive than traditional paper.
Xerox’s new “High Yield Business Paper” is manufactured via a mechanical grinding process that uses 90 percent of the raw wood material as opposed to the 45 percent used in the traditional chemical pulping process. In addition, the plant where the pulping takes place is partially powered by hydroelectricity, reducing the plant’s fossil fuel use and cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75 percent.
“This paper brings the benefits of traditional mechanical fiber paper to digital printers who produce high quality, shorter-life print applications,” says Steve Simpson, Xerox’s vice president in charge of paper and supplies. “And it delivers an environmentally friendly option with increased savings to our customers.”
But not everyone is sold on Xerox’s claims of the paper’s environmental benefits. Frank Locantore, director of Co-op America’s Magazine Paper Project—which encourages publishers to make environmental commitments—says the new product is not nearly as environmentally friendly as recycled paper.
“There’s some uncomfortable stretching of the definition of ‘environmentally responsible’ going on here,” Locantore says. “While Xerox’s mechanical paper does use fewer trees and is a better option than a traditional chemical paper, it makes no mention of containing any recycled content—and papers with 100-percent recycled content require no trees at all. In fact, 15 years ago International Paper’s Hammermill division created the Unity DP, a mechanical copy paper made with 100-percent recycled content. So, the environmentally concerned purchaser may be asking, ‘Why does Xerox’s paper not contain any recycled content?’”
Aside from the issue of its environmental friendliness, Xerox says the new paper will produce customer savings as a result of its lighter weight. The High Yield paper has 10 percent more sheets per pound than the 50-pound text sheet, the most widely used digital print paper, which is produced by a chemical pulping process. This reduces the cost per roll or 500-sheet ream. According to Xerox, mailing 1,000 five-sheet sets of a document using the new paper would save $80 in mailing costs as a result of the lighter weight.