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[GreenYes] Re: Input needed on new FTC packaging guidelines

To GreenYes Digest Subscribers:

I agree with Brenda Platt that "eliminating the distinction between pre- and post-consumer recycled content labels" for paper would be a mistake.  

Mary Lou Van Deventer and I just bought a new microwave oven, our first ever.  We were suprised upon reading the instruction booklet to discover a warning in boldface type not to use any recycled content paper as temporary covers while cooking.  The same warning told us that recycled-content paper has "particles" in it that can overheat and cause fires.  We asked ourselves what these "particles" might be, and at first were stumped.  Then I realized that paper is often co-collected with steel and aluminum cans, and so these might be sources of metal flakes like rust scales or metal particles like corrosion dusts that could pulped up and rolled out into paper.  Then they might be excited enough by the microwave action to spark just like metal-based paints and glazes do if put into a microwave, and thereby cause heated paper fibers to ignite.  Seems a likely explanation to me.

So I could imagine that products made with industrial offcuts would inherently make cleaner paper (for microwave purposes) than paper derived from single-stream residential collection where metal contamination of the paper fibers is more or less chronic and built in.  This important distinction if blurred might expose people to extra risk from microwave fires.

Dan Knapp
Urban Ore, Inc.
On Mar 17, 2008, at 4:09 PM, Brenda Platt wrote:

Be sure to add your comments for the FTC review of green packaging claims and guidelines.   Anyone is allowed to submit input and that input will be considered prior to changing the federal guidelines.


There are efforts to weaken the FTC's guidelines for packaging as you can see from the comments posted so far.  For example, the American Forest and Paper Association is lobbying to eliminate the distinction between pre- and post-consumer recycled content labels, which I think would be a mistake. 


How to file a comment and Overview of the FTC review of packaging claims:


Comments posed so far:


Please forward this to others.gree

Brenda Platt
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
927 15th Street, NW, 4th Fl
Washington, DC 20005
202-898-1610 ext. 230

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