A short review of 'Recycled Papers: The Essential Guide," by Claudia Thompson (MIT Press).
To establish a set of standards within the murky and misleading lexicon of paper recycling (see "Is Recycled Paper Really Recycled?," December 1992, [Article link]), the American Institute of Graphic Arts sponsored three years of research on reclaimed waste and how it is (or isn't) recycled into printing and writing stock. The edifying report -- including an analysis of the problems of remanufacturing printing products from postconsumer waste, such as the stuff that's dutifully gathered from office bins -- was published in book form this year. The book, Recycled Papers: The Essential Guide (MIT Press, 800-356-0343; $40, cloth; $25, paper), by Claudia Thompson, is itself printed on four types of recycled surfaces, to give you an idea of what to expect from recycled paper. If nothing else, the copiously illustrated presentation defines the ecological value a business should expect to receive when it pays for paper goods marked "recycled." The conclusions may surprise you. -- Robert A. Mamis