Paper products have the potential to create significant environmental impacts throughout their lifecycle, from raw material sourcing and manufacturing of pulp and paper to the disposal of the paper product.
These impacts can include unsustainable management of native forests; effluents from the manufacturing processes containing oxygen depleting substances that affect plants and animals in receiving waters; release of toxic and bioaccumulative substances including for example sulphurous compounds and halogenated organics (from e.g. bleaching); usage of significant amounts energy and production of greenhouse gases during pulp and paper manufacturing processes; and impact from the packaging and disposal of the product at the end of its life.
The application of sustainable management principles in order to safeguard forests and other areas used to obtain fibre raw materials. It is important that operations are managed in a way that minimises disturbance of natural ecosystems and conserves biodiversity. Third-party certification is a useful tool to verify sustainable forest management.
The reduction of emissions to air and water of certain toxic or otherwise polluting substances, such as oxygen depleting substances, halogenated organics, phosphorus, sulphurous and nitrogen compounds.
The reduction of environmental damage or risks related to the use of energy (global warming, acidification, ozone depletion, depletion of non-renewable resources) by reducing energy usage and encouraging energy from renewable resources.
The reduction of environmental damage or risks related to the use of hazardous chemicals.
Improved waste management, as considerable quantities of waste may be generated between the raw material stage and the completed paper product.
The scope of this standard is applicable to sanitary paper products, including:
🔸 Toilet paper
🔸 Facial tissues
🔸 Paper towels, hand towels
🔸 Table napkins
🔸 General purpose wipes
🔸 Table coverings, placemats, tray liners
This standard does not include non-woven sanitary products, disposable diapers, and sanitary napkins and tampons.
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On 15 March 2021, in collaboration with Edge Environment and the Global Product Stewardship Council, GECA was awarded a grant by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to tackle the issue of commercial office furniture going to landfill. The group will use the funding to design a product stewardship scheme that will help reduce the estimated 30,000 tonnes of furniture – much of it in perfectly good condition – that ends up in Australia’s waste stream each year.Read More See all news
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