[GRRN] Recycling Neon Papers

Bill Sheehan (bill_sheehan@mindspring.com)
Fri, 17 Dec 1999 03:40:29 -0500

Many students have asked us about the environmental effects of
neon paper posters. This week, Dana Kelly from the University of
Colorado Environmental Center answers your questions.

Although bright and neon papers are eye-catching, these papers
are no longer accepted for recycling by most paper mills. The dyes
in bright papers are made with toxic heavy metals (cadmium,
arsenic, and others), making these papers much more resource
intensive and costly to recycle. In addition, since bright papers
can't be recycled, they end up in landfills, where their toxic dyes
may one day contaminate water and soil.

At the University of Colorado, offices and departments have taken
steps to reduce bright paper usage on the Boulder campus. The CU
Bookstore, Printing and Copy Services, and CU's Distribution
Center have discontinued stocking astrobright and neon colors. The
University of Colorado Student Union requires groups using student
fee money to use only recyclable paper (no brights), and the
University Memorial Center does not allow posting of materials on
bright or neon colors. In a University memo in February 1998, the
Vice Chancellor for Administration's office strongly encouraged
campus offices to discontinue use of brights papers and use pastels
instead whenever non-white paper is needed.

Questions? Contact the CU Recycling staff

[From EarthNet News, December 9, 1999
...a project of the Center for Environmental Citizenship]