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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Japan Law Reduces Down to 70%, the amount of Recycled Paper to be Used in Copiers

Kyodo News

Government guidelines for the "green purchase" law were revised Friday to reduce the amount of recycled paper that must be used in copiers to 70 percent instead of 100 percent.

The law, which goes into effect April 1, requires government ministries and agencies to use environment-friendly products in designated equipment.

The guidelines were eased because supplies of recycled paper are short. This will allow paper makers to diversify the sources of natural materials they use to produce paper used by the government, including lumber taken from trees felled to thin forests.

According to an Environment Ministry estimate, the 40,000 tons of 100 percent recycled paper produced each year in Japan cannot meet the annual demand of 300,000 tons used by public offices at the central and municipal levels.

The revised guidelines allow copier paper used at government offices to contain a certain percent of lumber from felled trees and other sources certified by a third-party entity as derived from environmental-friendly activity.

Aside from paper, the revised guidelines will also list for the first time the minimum standards of functionality for solar-power systems, including specifications for power-generation efficiency and durability.

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