U.S. Company Works To Change The Future Of Paper

Newpapers, magazines, press kits, brochures, catalogs, newsletters, and memos…oh my! We deal with hundreds of pieces of printed paper everyday, but most are discarded without a second thought to where they came from or what they’re really worth.

Some startling facts:

  • Americans discard 4 million tons of office paper every year — enough to build a 12 foot high wall of paper from New York to California.
  • In prehistoric times, 60 percent of the earth’s surface was covered by forests – today that amount has been reduced by 30 percent and is still shrinking.
  • It takes 17 pulpwood market-sized trees to make a ton of paper, or one tree makes about 11,500 pages of 8.5 x 11 20-pound paper.

Although the technology and desire for paper with highly recycled content exists, many newspaper and magazine publishers have been slow to make the change to more sustainable paper sources. Thanks to a company in Illinois, however, businesses large and small now have access to hassle-free green publishing products.

FutureMark Paper Company is an environmental paper manufacturer that produces high-quality paper with an unmatched level of recycled content.

Publishers known for their big, glossy-paged monthlies will be glad to know that through FutureMark’s innovative and efficient techniques, they won’t have to sacrifice quality just to reduce their negative impact on the planet.

FutureMark’s innovative manufacturing plant, located just outside Chicago, was designed and equipped to produce high quality paper in the most environmentally sustainable way. They are currently the only company in North America capable of manufacturing up to 100 percent recycled coated mechanical printing paper (aka the glossy stuff).

For most major publishers and catalog companies, the recycled content level in printed materials usually hovers around 10 – 15 percent.

But innvoative manufacturing isn’t the only reason FutureMark represents the future of green publishing in America — they also know how important it is to close the loop and return benefits to the community. Instead of demolishing real forests for their supplies, this company is harvesting the urban forest: dumpsters, shredders and recycling bins all over the Chicago area.

FutureMark takes the post recycling remnants and rather then sending them to the landfill, they give them to an agricultural supply company that sells it to farmers. And they’ve worked with the City of Chicago and its schools to collect paper and textbooks for recycling, paying schools, faith and civic groups, etc., for what they collect.

Compared to other 0% recovered fiber content products, FutureMark reduces the amount of CO2 emitted into the air by over 150,000 tons each year and saves over 800 million gallons of wastewater annually.

Like this story? Follow Beth on Twitter or Stumble!

Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons - bravenewtraveler


Kerrie G.
Kerrie G7 years ago

It's so important to have this sort of paper available. Thanks for the article.

Andrea M.
Andrea M7 years ago

As an avid (and probably a little crazy!) fan of recycling paper, this is a great article! Thanks for posting!

Beng Kiat Low
low beng kiat7 years ago


Nancilee I.
Nancilee I7 years ago

Great!!! How can consumers tell who uses FutureMark Paper?

Margaret M.
Margaret M.7 years ago

great idea!

April Thompson
April Thompson7 years ago

Thanks! I hope this gets implemented in all businesses and in the government to help save our trees!

Linda Mills
Linda Mills7 years ago

hope this concept catches on with other publishers

vijayan t.
vijayan t7 years ago

Thanks for the information

April Theberge
April Theberge7 years ago

Thank you for the post, and way to go for this company!

Paul Smith
Paul Smith7 years ago

Hey Bee Hive Lady, I was interested in your comments, and asked FutureMark what their thoughts were on the subject.

Here it is:

At FutureMark Paper, while we would love to claim a Perfect Green Paper, such solutions don't always exist. We believe that our products offer magazine and catalog publishers the maximum environmental and resource conservation benefit currently available that meets the requirements of their industry. We do continue to look for 100% sustainable raw material resources- it is basic to our urban forest model- in the interim here are some current data for our recovered paper recycling plant:

We use a blend of calcium carbonate (ground limestone) and kaolin clay for our coating formula
We recover 100% of the mineral pigments (carbonate and kaolin clay) that are part of the makeup of the paper we recycle
About 40% is used in paper production
About 60% is used in High Calcium Paper Lime production
We use primary ("virgin") pigments for the coating makeup- for technical qualities in publication and specialty print processes
We reclaim the maximum possible "filler" pigment quantity- for good business sense

We have active, albeit proprietary, projects to add value to the recovered resources brought to our headquarters in Alsip, Illinois.

I appreciate you interest.