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SMART Papers has New Environmental Standard for Premium Coated Papers

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK--March 22, 2004-- SMART Papers, a leading independent manufacturer of super premium printing papers in North America, said today it will immediately begin making part of its flagship coated paper gradeline, Kromekote, with 30% post-consumer waste (PCW) content. It will also increase its entire Knightkote Matte coated product line to 30% post-consumer waste, effective immediately. The moves represent a major initiative by SMART Papers to set new, higher environmental standards for premium coated papers in North America. These papers are used in everything from annual reports and corporate marketing materials to labels and book covers. They are also used extensively in digital printing. The company said three other Kromekote products will feature 30% PCW content by Fall 2004. Still other products are being reviewed for higher levels of post-consumer waste fibers. SMART Papers' coated papers currently have between 0 and 20% PCW content--an amount either on par with or above that found in competing coated printing papers. "Large corporations -- particularly consumer goods and services companies -- urgently want increased amounts of recycled, post-consumer fibers in premium coated printing papers for their marketing programs," explained SMART Papers CEO Tim Needham. "The time is right to start commercializing high-end coated papers that are earth friendly," Needham said. "Looking out over the next couple of years, it will be technically and economically viable for a non-integrated paper manufacturer to market premium coated papers with 100% PCW content." The veteran paper industry executive said more than 4.8 million tons of premium coated free sheet paper was produced in the U.S. in 2003. Much of it features little to no post-consumer waste. The U.S. government currently requires a minimum of 10% post-consumer content for coated papers to be considered recycled. Ultra-luxe Kromekote Glass is first to get the new 30% PCW standard Kromekote Glass, which Needham said is the most elegant high-gloss printing paper available today, is the first Kromekote product to now be manufactured with 30% post-consumer fiber content. Kromekote Glass features a triple coating and a 95 gloss for a mirror-smooth cast coated finish. It, along with the entire Kromekote family of products, features a highly advanced coating that creates a rich, absorbent and resilient surface for the most demanding print and post-press equipment today. Needham said SMART Papers can raise the amount of post-consumer waste fibers in its respected Kromekote cast-coated and Knightkote Matte lines without sacrificing the papers' high-end print quality because of rigorous sourcing of post-consumer fibers and advances in the company's papermaking technology. "We're very selective in choosing our fiber suppliers and, for years, we have worked with suppliers to improve their product," added Chuck DeWitt, Director of Product Management for SMART Papers. Because SMART Papers is a non-integrated paper manufacturer and buys its paper fiber and pulp on the open market, it can nimbly and cost-efficiently introduce post-consumer waste as well as non-traditional fibers into its papermaking operations to meet new market demands. With the post-consumer waste fiber it purchases, the company maintains a very high standard for fiber cleanliness and strength. Needham said SMART Papers' pulp suppliers are certified under sustainable forestry practices in the U.S. and Canada. SMART Papers expands focus on earth-friendly papers, sound environmental operating practices SMART Papers' Hamilton, Ohio, papermaking center continues to be a leader in recycling advances within the U.S. printing paper industry. In 1989, it raised the standard for premium uncoated papers with the introduction of its 100% recycled Benefit line. Just last year, it upgraded the recycled content of its well-known Carnival line, making 30% PCW the standard for that gradeline. SMART Papers enjoys a strong environmental record at its facility. No chlorine is used and its papers are designated elemental chlorine free (ECF). The company has long employed aggressive pre-consumer paper waste recovery processes. No solid waste from the company's facility goes into landfills; all waste material is recovered for use in other industrial products. For a growing number of customers, SMART Papers also manufactures printing papers on a special order basis. These include papers featuring up to 100% total recycled fiber content, 50% PCW content and "tree-free" materials.