Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is Lettra recycled?

We love Lettra--and not only because of its tree-freeness. What goes into that cotton stock? This info comes from Dave Kidwell, Crane's Mid-Atlantic Region Manager, regarding the "recycled" content of Crane's Lettra.

There are two sources for cotton that Crane's uses to make all of its 100% cotton "Commercial" (not to be confused with Currency) papers: 1) Trimmings and 2) Linters

1) Trimmings are the left-over scrap from the textile industry after, say, a 100% cotton undershirt has been stamped out.
2) Linters are the small group of fibers that are connected to the cotton seed which are removed after ginning. The cotton seeds are sold to be pressed for cotton seed oil--we are able to remove those small fibers from the seed and use those for paper making.

In either case, these are materials that would otherwise make their way into the landfills. Since they technically never passed though a consumer's hands, they cannot be considered "Post Consumer" under government guidelines. They are, however, reclaimed materials and under any "rational" thinking would be considered "recycled." Our brethren in the wood paper market caused a stir back in the beginning of the "recycled" movement when they would run up huge inventories of offset and such papers. They would then take the overage and use it as "broke" stock in which they would turn it back into pulp to be used for other paper. (A common practice throughout the paper industry). What they did though is then call the paper from this "broke" stock "recycled," which caused the Government to step in and say that it must first pass through a consumer's hands.

Sounds green to me . . .

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