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Thanks, John Quixote, and sorry for the delay in responding.

I did wonder if you had considered cooperating with other small printers to increase order quantities of hi-PCR content paper, thereby leveraging down the price

You see, my company is not a printer, although we commission printing. Unfortunately, even if there were more than a handful of businesses that offered similar services to ours, experience has shown that they (okay, we...) play their/our cards pretty close to the vest when it comes to revealing costs for typesetting, printing, and the like. In principal, a paper-buying pool is a terrific idea, but in order to make it work we would need to be able to warehouse large quantities of paper (in clean, dry surroundings), then provide for its shipment to printers around the world. I don't think this would result in much economy.

one of the available 25-30% PCR content copy papers (forgetting the company, but the brand is great-white and it has a shark on the ream-wrapper) is on the market today because the mill owner got on the phone and basically organized the demand for the stuff

The company, Great White, provides an excellent quality office paper, which we use pretty much exclusively--in our office. But our product is high-quality art and (though we are never supposed to utter the name) "coffee-table" books, which require coated stock for the most part and the few available recycled coated papers are hugely expensive and often not available through our usual printers. This leads either to our hiring a jobber to find and supply the stock (plus a markup to the printer for using it) or to paying an even greater surcharge to the printer itself to find and test it. And, since the printer is not used to working with it, chances of unreasonable wastage are tripled, so, once again, where's the value of using recycled stock if the job now requires two to three times the material? Conundrum? You bet.

But all this brings up what I tend to run away from considering whenever it rears its scary head. If sustainable business is something important to me, what am I doing owning a business that requires at least some non-sustainable (not to say anti-sustainable) practices? This is particularly worrisome as I have been involved in some form of publishing activity most of my working life, now verging on 25 years. It is what I do well. It is, to some extent anyway, what I love to do. But if someone told me that working for a company known for dumping PCBs in the local river was a job that they loved, I would have a hard time honoring that. (Okay, that analogy may be a bit extreme, but it gives some flavor of the conflict this sort of thing sets whirling.) I would readily change the nature of my business if I could afford the time and costs required for re-education, new technology, etc.—and still be able to practice this new calling for enough years to feel that I was contributing something by doing it.

Sorry to go on so long, but these are thorny problems I expect other readers of this board may recognize as applicable to their situations, too.

(Really) Inahaze (these days)
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