WWF launches paper scorecard

More than 100 paper products are rated on an NGO's website

Paper buyers can now compare the sustainability of different products through a website developed by WWF.

The ‘check your paper’ site rates products on their environmental credentials, including how well the forests providing the fibre are managed, use of recycled fibre, the amount of waste sent to landfill and water pollution from mills. Each product is given a percentage score and separate star-ratings for its forest, climate and water performance.

Buyers can also search particular types of paper such as newsprint, tissue and packaging papers.

Despite the growth of digital media, paper consumption worldwide is expected to continue growing over the next decade, says WWF. It wants to encourage paper producers to ensure their products are as sustainable as possible.

The data on the website is submitted by the industry and WWF takes no responsibility for its quality. However, producers are encouraged to seek third-party certification of their results and certified ratings are given higher priority on the site.

The ratings of 93 of the 115 papers currently listed on the website have been certified. About a third of these have an ‘excellent’ rating, including papers from Germany’s Lenzing Papier and France’s Arjowiggins Graphic.

Most of the rest are ‘good’ but two products, both from UK-based Tullis Russell Papermakers, are classed as ‘fair’.

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