Today marks an important step forward in the protection of forests with the launch of the first high-quality and affordably priced straw-based copy paper in the U.S., Step Forward Paper available exclusively on Staples.com and for order in Staples stores, through in-store kiosks.

Woddy Harrelson and Step Forward Paper
Woddy Harrelson and Step Forward Paper

Step Forward Paper is revolutionary copy paper made up of 80 per cent wheat-straw waste and 20 percent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood fiber. Buying two boxes of Step Forward Paper instead of copy paper made from virgin forest fiber saves one tree.

Video: Woody Harrelson Talks Step Forward Paper in New Orleans

“Staples is excited to bring Step Forward Paper, a new alternative fiber product to consumers and businesses,” said Mark Buckley, Staples vice president of environmental affairs. “This award-winning paper is an easy and cost-effective way for consumers and businesses to conserve forests without sacrificing quality.”

Two-time Academy Award nominee and long-time environmental advocate Woody Harrelson is a co-founder and investor in Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc., which designed and produces Step Forward Paper. “Half of the world’s forests cut down are used to make paper,” said Harrelson, who received an honorary doctorate from York University for his long-time dedication to environmental work. “Step Forward Paper is a real plus for the forest,it’s a real plus for the farmers, and it’s going to be great for our future.”

A landmark Life Cycle Study comparison research report by Offsetters, a leading North American carbon management solutions provider, was commissioned by Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc. to provide consumers with access to objective measures of the relative positive and negative impact of different papers on the environment. The research results show wheat-straw based paper and 100 per cent recycled tree-fiber paper types have the lowest environmental impact across the seven indicators studied.

Step Forward Paper is presently made at a mill in India identified through an exhaustive international search as the only one having the capacity to make 80 percent ag-fiber paper that is elemental chlorine-free with FSC-certified wood fiber.

“Our goal is to establish a market that will support our plans to build a new state-of-the-art facility in North America, which will in turn enable us toproduce this straw paper with an even smaller footprint,” said Jeff Golfman, president of Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc.

North America is home to seven of the 10 largest intact forest ecosystems left in theworld. These forests contain vast quantities of the world’s unfrozen fresh water and are among the largest storehouse of carbon on earth. The absorption and storage of carbondioxide by intact forests influences climate change.

Canopy, an award winning not-for-profit environmental organization, has been a catalyst for change in the development of the market for environmentally responsiblepapers and a driver in the introduction of straw paper fiber throughout North America.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Canopy founder and executive director Nicole Rycroft said, “Canopy’s work to advance solutions such as Step Forward Paper helps reduce pressure on the world’s ancient and endangered forests and reduce the pressure on species that rely upon these forests for survival. In turn, increasing the market demand for straw paper with companies like Staples facilitates the development of North American production capacity, value-added opportunities for farmers and local jobs at paper mills.”

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