Canopy’s newly released EcoPaper Database (EPD) has been updated, expanded, and now has some new features, like a Category filter so users can search by packaging grades, printing and writing grades, food service ware, sanitary products, office products, and/or plain old pulp. Since the new EPD features so much paper packaging information, there is now a scan for food contact safety compliance for packaging; and a scan for PFAS-free verification on foodservice ware due to the number of national or state regulations being introduced to ban PFAS coating.
Here are the top things to know about the latest iteration of the EPD, the ‘Holy Grail’ of eco-friendly paper products:
Fibre for paper can be made from almost anything
There are 70 different fibre sources, or feedstocks, for the products on the 2022 EPD, and it’s a pretty wild list, from the understandable (recycled burlap) to the interesting (banana fibre, linen waste, non-GMO sugar beet residue, miscanthus) to the wildly innovative (mushrooms, fallen leaves) to the downright surprising (elephant poo). Other fibre sources include wheat straw and other cereal straws, recycled textiles, hemp, flax, seaweed, food waste, and grass.
There are more innovative, eco-friendly paper and packaging options on the market than ever before.
There are 507 total packaging listings in the EPD, and 236 of these are new this year. With the much-needed shift away from plastic packaging, eco-conscious companies are going to want to ensure that they are not swapping one environmental problem, that of plastic waste, for another, mass deforestation. There are 764 products in the EPD made with 100% recycled content, and 345 products made with Next Gen content.
Next Gen is the future and your company should get on it
Next Generation Solutions are what we call alternative feedstocks like agricultural residues that can be used to make pulp for paper and packaging. Next Gen Solutions solve two problems at once: they take the sourcing pressure off forests, and they keep waste from being burned or landfilled.
Every year, hundreds of millions of tonnes of agricultural residue (ie. waste straw, flax straw) are burned, causing air pollution that chokes some of the world’s largest cities. Innovative Next Gen Solutions use this ‘waste’ to make everything from paper bags to fashion boxes to takeout containers.
HOT TOPIC: Corrugated cardboard can be made from 100% recycled fibres
We’ve had many partners say their suppliers are claiming there is no 100% recycled corrugated cardboard stock available, so we went looking for some. And we sure found tonnes of it! The new EPD has 23 Superior Ranked 100% recycled corrugated listings. You can find them by clicking the word ‘corrugated’ in the ‘Type’ column of the new Filter function.
In addition to helping companies meet their sustainability goals and bring in new customers, using eco-friendly paper and paper packaging options is also vital for the planet
We know that we are facing the twin environmental crises of climate change and loss of biodiversity. Forests have a huge role to play in both. The UN Environment Program (UNEP) estimates forests are 30% of the climate solution because they absorb and store so much carbon. That means keeping existing forests standing. And 80% of biodiversity on land is based in forests.
Currently, three billion trees are logged to make paper packaging alone, and many of those trees are in the world’s Ancient and Endangered Forests. Choosing forest-friendly paper and packaging is a first step in working toward greater forest conservation, keeping forests standing, and ensuring a liveable and vibrant plant for all of us.
Learn how to navigate the new EPD with this video.