When I was searching for our paper, I ran into two terms constantly, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PCW (Post Consumer Waste). You've probably seen these terms if you've shopped for paper products or bought products that use paper packaging.

The Forest Stewardship Council was founded in 1993 to encourage sustainable forestry around the world. Paper manufacturers who use FSC certified paper are using paper that comes from forests that work to protect wildlife and their habitats, curb pollution, and plant more trees than are cut down. Paper products that are marked "FSC Certified" go through strict standards before they can bare the FSC certification. 

Post Consumer Waste is really what it sounds like. It's anything that was made of paper that we've used and thrown into the recycle bin. No new materials are used in PCW papers. 

Some paper products use a mix of FSC and PCW materials. This is usually to comply with FDA guidelines for food and beverage containers, keep costs lower, or to control how a paper looks and feels. 

For me, PCW paper products are preferable to FSC. However, it's more common to find FSC paper products. As always, progress over perfection. Next time you are shopping for toilet paper, wrapping paper (all MASU paper is 100% PCW!), greeting cards, notepads, notebooks, paper towels, pencils, and so on, check the packaging to see if these products are FSC, PCW, or a mix. Companies that use FSC or PCW packaging will also have this info on their packaging. If your favorite brand doesn't use FSC or PCW products or packaging, reach out and encourage them to.


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