The Enigma of Recycled Paper

Post Comment

I use an Equology Sapa X planner.   I like the Sapa X size and format, but I switched from a Space 24 to use a product with recycled paper.   As a former Sierra Club volunteer in Alaska   and staffer in New York City, I felt I needed to live my ethics even though I loved Space 24.

I had pushed for a recycled option for Quo Vadis planners, spurred on by a number of emails we received demanding we change over from regular paper to recycled.   Some of them were quite stident on this issue.

We found that good recycled papers are more expensive to produce than other paper. Consequently, the Equology line was priced $4 or $5 more than similar formats. My feeling was a good chunk of people would pay the extra money for a “green” planner.

I was wrong. This is my last year for  Sapa X recycled.   The reason: the sales of recycled paper planners were poor, and declined for the three years in a row. We pulled the plug for 2013.   The flood of fellow environmentalists I had hoped for didn’t materialize.

I know people often complain about the color and  quality of recycled paper, but the stocks we had were pretty white, and I could write on my pages with a fountain pen, or erase  with no problem.

The Clairefontaine paper we use for Quo Vadis products is made pretty scrupulously, so perhaps that’s  sufficient for most buyers.  Also, the   recycled paper had a slightly  greyish tinge, compared to the soft white, ivory or green of the other sheets.

We reached the conclusion that people will buy recycled paper products if they don’t cost any more than a similar product.   And, for people who really love paper, recycled paper still doesn’t cut it.

What do you think?







3 thoughts on “The Enigma of Recycled Paper

  1. I’m disappointed the Equology planners did not sell better and am sad to hear they will be discontinued. I used a Minister Equology (generously sent to me by you as a sample to review back when they first began) and I loved the velvety-feeling paper. I was hoping they would catch on so much that notebooks would become available.

    As you have pointed out, Clairefontaine paper is already so environmentally-friendly, I will continue to happily use the products!

  2. I love paper too much, and have gotten too hooked on the wonderful Clairefontaine papers, to settle for anything less. And the Space 24 works great for me. Much as I believe in protecting our environment, I contribute as much as I can in other ways. My planner is very important to me throughout the year, and I am not willing to compromise here. Even if the recycled planners cost the same, I still would not buy them, in a planner anyway. Maybe in a notebook, but even that is doubtful. And I certainly wouldn’t pay more for recycled in a notebook or in a planner.

  3. I’m environmentally conscious; My family and I try not to waste anything and to only consume what we need. We recycle.

    That said, we also don’t think there’s anything wrong with using premium products, especially from a responsible company like Rhodia/Clairefontaine/Quo Vadis who uses sustainable harvesting/replanting and environmentally-friendly printing techniques (i.e., vegetable dyes, and not solely chemical). That is perfectly acceptable to me, especially when you consider that we (consumers like me) are already more than willing to pay a premium for the manufacturer to assume that environmental responsibility.

    I’m thinking that there just aren’t very many of us who are willing to pay an even bigger premium on top of that to accept a not-as-premium product (not saying it’s bad, but I’d argue it’s substandard compared to their conventional offerings, specifically for wet-writing fountain pens).

    It’s also arguable how much “better” for the environment trucking around all that waste and using that much more power to create a “premium” recycled product is compared to just managing sustainable resources close to the production facilities. Many recyclers forget how much fossil fuel power it takes to recycle.

    I guess my point is that with such a responsible company, your conscience should still allow you to sleep just as easily, even without this product line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.