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Yellow Pages Directory Uses Wood Chips to Make Paper Stock

The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) uses recycled paper pulp and fiber derived from residual chips — a byproduct after logs are converted into lumber — to make its directory paper, according to the company’s first report on sustainability.

YPA has implemented several programs to reduce paper waste. These include the launch of consumer choice programs that enable customers to reduce or stop directory delivery, as well as recycling and up-recycling programs that give new life to directories as materials for items such as coffee cup trays, egg cartons, cellulose insulation and cereal boxes.

Telephone directories represent a small percentage of the municipal waste stream compared to other durable goods, according to the report.

In partnership with its publishers and printers, YPA is shifting to soy-based inks, non-toxic dyes, and non-toxic adhesives. Several other initiatives have led to a 29 percent reduction in directory paper use. These include reducing the size of the paper, using more efficient pagination systems, and expanding to digital and mobile search products like Internet Yellow Pages sites and apps.

YPA says the directory industry has developed Industry Environmental Guidelines that cover three primary areas: resource reduction, environmental manufacturing practices, and recycling.

Recommendations include using software programs to expand a page’s margins and to reduce the number pages, implementing programs that allow customers to stop delivery of the print edition, working with communities to establish recycling programs, and using recycled materials and non-toxic inks, dyes and glues.

Some of YPA’s goals for 2010 and beyond include improving the nationwide recovery rate of directories by working with the Environmental Protection Agency and its partners, establishing new or expanding existing partnerships with environmental organizations, identifying opportunities for environmental improvement, and expanding its YellowIsGreen.com Website.

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