Tree-free paper

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As paper overflows wastebaskets and flutters from dumpsters in office parks, many people have rallied to the cry for a paperless office to save trees. Now a Chicago firm is offering a solution—Ultra Green Film. Ultra Green is a limestone-based product made with mineral powders bound together with a non-toxic resin and small amounts of polyethylene. The manufacturing process requires no trees, water, or bleach, yet it works just like paper or better.

Printers are excited about Ultra Green because its grain-free surface improves high resolution printing. “It combines the printability of a traditional paper with the durability of a plastic sheet,” said Carl Blase, CEO of Print Art as reported in EcoLocalizer. It also is resistant to scuffing, water, grease and oils, and impervious to sunlight, so it won’t turn yellow or brittle over time. One enthusiast claimed it was the invention of the year.

Environmental Defense Fund provides some environmental details. One ton of Ultra Green saves 20 trees, 7,480 gallons of water, 167 pounds of solid waste, and 236 pounds of carbon emissions. It might also save a few pocket books. With paper use increasing every year, costs are projected to rise 77 percent between 1995 and 2020.

If all these facts and accompanying enthusiasm stand the test of time, perhaps Ultra Green is the real deal.

Linda is responsible for the PERC web sites, media relations, the national journalism conference, and the media fellows program. She is author of Forest Fires, part of a series of  environmental education books for high school students. She also wrote and produced Square One, a newsletter that introduced grassroots environmentalists to market...
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