Grey’s Paper Recycling really embodies much of what The Local Good is all about: they are a local business that produces and sells a sustainable, socially and environmentally conscious product. Their 100% post-consumer stationary paper products are produced through an eco-friendly process for recycling waste paper and old cotton clothes called “Close the Loop.” Get to know more about this product and why it’s such an important project with Grey’s marketing coordinator Maria Gutierrez:
What’s the story of how this came about? What was the need you saw in the community that it emerged from?
It takes 17 full grown trees to produce one ton of office paper, and each year thousands of tons of paper are produce in Alberta alone. By recycling used office paper, it is possible to vastly reduce that environmental cost. Our process is local, as we are using local raw material (waste paper from the offices and used cotton from all the hotels in Edmonton), we are giving more job opportunities (we need to hire 60 more people), and we want to sell our products in Edmonton. The quality of our envelopes and file folders is really good, we are doing the certification for our stationary paper and so far the feedback from our customers is amazing. I believe that we are offering some great recycling solutions that separates us from everyone else.
Can you share a few examples of how your project works? “Close the Loop” means natural resources are used, then recycled, then used again with little or no loss of material volume. Grey’s collect paper from local offices and white linens from hotels to combine them and make 100% post-consumer recycled paper. The best part is that no toxic chemicals are used! Fibers in linen help to whiten the paper and strengthen its structural integrity. After waste paper is processed into pulp, it becomes light grey in appearance, but elegant and unique – which gives Greys it’s name! We are currently collecting raw material (office waste paper) to be recycled, and we would like to be the office recycled paper supplier with the best price in town.
What’s the response been so far? The feedback from our customers is amazing, they really like the texture and feeling of our cotton-paper products.
What are the three biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way? Along with many others we see the Earth’s resources becoming increasingly scarce, and with landfills being filled up, this prompted a need for all people to take action. The need to recycle is well known and increasingly urgent. The average business office employee generates about 1.5 Lb (37 sheets per day) of waste paper. Recycling paper reduces the need to cut down mature trees. Trees are one of the main tools mother nature uses to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Our plan is to take a practical view of this challenge where the recycling effort can be more convenient for individuals.
What’s the next level for your project? What are you most excited about that’s coming up? Grey’s is the first company to make paper this way (locally produced). We want to “Close the Loop” which includes the collection of waste paper products, recycle them, and then provide back new recyclable products. Current paper can be recycled 6 to 7 times, with Grey’s method, paper can be recycled much more than that, and without a significant loss of material.
Anything else you’d like to add? When you “Join The Loop” your business or organization name will be listed on the Grey’s website as a recognized participant. As well, the City of Edmonton website will link to this, so recognition of your participation in “‘Join The Loop” will also be accessible to their audience. You will also receive a framed certificate to post in your business or office. This certificate can be of significant benefit as it shows your customers and visitors you are consciously making an effort to preserve the country’s natural resources, plus you are helping keep local taxes down by sending less to the local landfill. I believe that we are offering some great recycling solutions, that separates us from everyone else.
For more info, visit their website: http://www.greys.ca