A friend of a friend told a story...
To qualify for the term "recycled paper" paper company A simply sells their waste to company B and vice versa. Tada! recycled paper. As to 100% recycled paper, this article got me thinking, maybe some of the cost is due to the short staple length of the resulting product. Maybe this paper requires a slower printing speed, tying up the machines, so they charge more for this reason.
"Another issue is whether 100% recycled paper is ‘greener’ than, say, 80 or 90% recycled. The reality is that each time paper is recycled, the fibers that control strength grow shorter. For this reason, 100% recycled paper often will not run through high speed printing presses without unacceptably high break rates. Mixing in the longer fibers from only 10 or 15% virgin pulp solves this problem and makes the recycled paper acceptable for high speed printing presses. So while 100% recycled printing paper might SOUND greener, in fact it would not be widely accepted in the market place. Adding in a little bit of virgin makes it a more practical solution, making a product like FutureMark’s paper more commercially competitive and allowing their operation alone to save more than 2 million trees per year
In other words, depending on various factors, buying 93% recycled paper might be a greener choice than buying 100% recycled paper, or even 100% post-consumer – especially when the quality of the final product is critical."