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Straw-Based Copy Paper Now Available in Canada

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Press release from the issuing company

Today marks an important step forward in protecting forests: straw-based copy paper with 80 per cent less forest fibre than traditional paper is now widely available to Canadian consumers, small businesses and home offices at Staples Canada.

The paper is designed and produced by the entrepreneurial Winnipeg-based company Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc. It contains 80 per cent straw from leftover by-product of harvested wheat crops and 20 per cent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood fibre. Aptly marketed under the brand name Step Forward Paper, it is a step forward in protecting forests and supporting farmers with new revenue streams, and FSC certified by the Rainforest Alliance.

“Paper made from leftover straw produces high quality and performance that compares with other copy and printer papers,” said Pete Gibel, Vice President of Merchandising at Staples Canada. “It’s an easy and cost-effective way for consumers and small businesses to conserve our world’s forests without sacrificing quality.”

Step Forward Paper is accessible to consumers exclusively through Staples stores across Canada and online at Staples.ca thanks to the support of Canada’s leading national distributor Unisource Canada, which teamed up with Staples Canada to make it happen.

“We are always looking to bring innovation to the market and we feel that Step Forward Paper is a technology breakthrough that will be remembered as a defining turning point in the paper industry,” said Dan Barbagallo, President of Unisource Canada. He added, “With this new alternative fibre product you no longer have to make trade-offs. Our customer Staples, consumers and the environment are all winners.”

Jeff Golfman, Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc. President, explained, “Step Forward Paper is the first paper of its kind to hit shelves in North America, and the first step toward meeting more of our paper needs from straw instead of ancient forests.” The paper is presently made at a facility in India. “Our goal is to establish a market that will support our plans to build a new state-of-the-art facility in the Canadian prairies in Manitoba, which will in turn enable us to produce this straw paper with an even smaller footprint,” said Golfman.

Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc. is working in partnership with Canopy, the award winning not-forprofit environmental organization that is collaborating with large paper customers to protect forests by developing the North American straw paper industry. Canopy’s highly successful book (Margaret Atwood) and magazine (Canadian Geographic) straw paper trials have already established momentum and appetite for straw paper products.

“Our market survey continues to quantify a clear and growing demand from large paper customers for paper made from leftover straw,” said Amanda Carr, Canopy’s Campaign Director. “Now we’re excited because shoppers like you and I can pick up Step Forward Paper and support a straw paper industry in North America, a key to protecting our endangered ancient forests,” noted Carr.


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