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MIT switching to a 'greener' bond paper

Spring at MIT will be a little greener this year with the unveiling of the new environmentally friendly Institute bond. The 100 percent recycled paper will replace the watermarked bond that departments now use for letterhead, envelopes and other official business papers.

Beginning in May, the new bond will be distributed through all the usual outlets including Office Depot, the Copy Technology Centers, Lincoln Laboratory and print vendors recommended by the Publishing Services Bureau (PSB).

Available in white or natural white, the "greener" MIT bond is a premium stock business paper produced from 100 percent recycled materials -- 25 percent cotton, 30 percent post-consumer waste and 45 percent pre-consumer waste. The old bond, which was available only in white, was produced from 50 percent virgin fiber and 50 percent recycled materials -- 25 percent cotton, 15 percent post-consumer waste, and 10% recovered waste fibers.

MIT had been planning to move to a more environmentally friendly paper, but the decision was expedited when the mill that makes the existing bond changed hands and stopped producing custom-watermarked papers, explained Monica Lee, director of the PSB. As a result, the watermarked bond that departments have been using will no longer be available.

Ms. Lee emphasized that the new recycled bond will be high-quality stock. "Because of modern production techniques, recycled paper now looks and feels no different from nonrecycled paper. The flecks and imperfections that characterized recycled paper years ago are definitely a thing of the past. While some recycled papers have intentionally retained that look, the technology exists to create clean papers free of those imperfections," she said.

"Once we reviewed all of the options, the decision was an easy one," said Kathryn Willmore, vice president and secretary of the Corporation. "On average, MIT uses 10,000 pounds of bond annually, so as an institution, our paper use has a measurable impact on the environment."

"This move to recycled paper is an important part of a set of larger environmental initiatives at MIT, including a revitalized recycling program and a 'green' purchasing policy," said Executive Vice President John R. Curry.

Members of the MIT community who have questions about the new bond not answered in the accompanying article should call Ms. Lee or Maryann Czerepak at the PSB (x8-9380), Steve Dimond at the Copy Technology Centers (x3-2806), Jack Maley at Office Depot (x3-4760), Jo Ann Schachter at Lincoln Laboratory (981-2129) or Judi Bean in Procurement (x3-8348).

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 7, 2001.

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