Over the past couple of weeks, Prairie Pulp + Paper’s new Step Forward Paper Professional Grade has made significant advances in the commercial printing marketplace, highlighted by its use in the production of more than 110,000 copies of the newest Corporate Knights magazine featuring Woody Harrelson on the cover.
Harrelson has put his full support behind Manitoba-based Prairie Pulp + Paper and its efforts to institute new directions for North American paper production through the use of agricultural-residue instead of wood fibres. Prairie Pulp continues to drive toward establishing a Canadian mill to produce paper from waste wheat straw. This wheat sheet, as it is commonly referred to, is currently produced in India using byproducts from local wheat farms.
“When we build a plant there in Manitoba, it's going to be 100-per-cent wood free. . . really from agricultural waste,” Harrelson told the Canadian Press in a late-October interview. “I'd like to see a revolution in the paper industry and I think this is an important part of that process.”
Prairie Pulp’s efforts received a huge boost with the new Corporate Knights publication being printed on Step Forward Paper Professional Grade, which carries 60 percent wheat straw paper combined with 40 percent Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood fibre. The 110,000-plus magazine run was distributed in The Globe and Mail and Washington Post newspapers, based on the collective efforts of the Corporate Knights, Prairie Paper, Canopy and EarthColor.
Canopy, a Vancouver-based non-profit rooted in applying business strategy to the use of environmentally progressive papers, also announced several of its printing partners, including EarthColor, Hemlock, MPH Graphics and Plan It Green Printing, are now offering folio sheet versions of Prairie Pulp’s Step Forward Paper Professional Grade for the commercial market. This wheat straw uncoated folio sheet is primarily aimed at book and magazine publishers and for general marketing purposes.
Canopy has spent the past decade campaigning to make straw-based papers available to North American printers and publishers, as an alternative to virgin fibre pulled from the world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests. Straw papers, according to Canopy, carry half the ecological footprint of tree papers and have the potential to keep more than 180 million trees standing every year. Canopy has helped more than 350 businesses craft policy language to support research and development in the field.