In recognition of Earth Day, the Department of Defense
announced today that it will fill all paper orders with recycled
content copier paper as long as the price is lower than
previously unused paper.
The policy is effective immediately.
The Defense Department purchases over 65 percent of all
paper bought by the federal government.
Using recycled paper
reduces consumption of water and electricity, saves trees and
helps protect air and water quality.
Making the switch to copier paper with recycled content is
an important part of meeting our environmental commitments
because we use more paper than any other agency.
With this one
act, we are able to realize substantial environmental savings.
The Defense Department is fully committed to integrating
environmental considerations into all aspects of our operations,
said Secretary of Defense William Cohen.
Prior to this policy change, 18 percent of all paper
purchased by the federal government was recycled. This change in
policy increases overall federal government recycled paper
purchases from 18 percent to 62 percent.
The policy change also
results in near 100 percent compliance with paper requirements
for President Clinton's Executive Order 12873 - Federal
Acquisition, Recycling, and Waste Prevention, which requires
Federal agencies to adopt recycling programs and to purchase
environmentally friendly products.
Our new policy benefits people and the environment, said
Sherri W. Goodman deputy under secretary of Defense for
The switch to recycled content copier
paper is good for the Defense Department, good for the federal
government, and good for Americans.
Our large paper purchases
will expand the market for recycled paper and for recycling of
The Defense Department purchases 2.1 million boxes of paper
per year from GSA.
Among other environmental benefits the switch
to using recycled content copier paper will save 150,000 trees
per year and 60 million gallons of water-- the amount of water a
million Americans use in one day.