About the Co-op|
We are all about Saving Natural Resources!
As of 5/31/09, RPC members have purchased over 436,322
cases of 30% and 100% post-consumer recycled paper,
* 98,028 trees
* 28,613,887 gallons of water
* 16,750,078 kilowatt hours of electricity
* And preventing 244,467 pounds of air pollution!
History of the Cooperative
Recycled paper represents less than 6% of the entire market for printing
and writing paper. Historically, its higher price had prevented
widespread use. Because of these issues and seeing the need to help
improve this situation the Recycled Products Cooperative was created
in 1999 with two goals in mind:
(1) To leverage purchasing power of members to reduce pricing, and
(2) To educate buyers on the importance of using recycled paper and
The Co-op is committed to bringing about transformations within the
marketplace which conserve trees and other natural resources.
A Collaborative Effort
The Cooperative was originally one of numerous creative and progressive programs
under the umbrella of the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation.
The Solana Center is a non-profit organization based in Encinitas,
California. For 25 years the Solana Center has been a leader in
addressing and finding creative solutions to many of the environmental
challenges both locally and globally. To find out more about the Solana
Center and its other programs, visit
www.solanacenter.org. Two years ago the RPC spun off on its own and is now a for
profit corporation. Although we have changed our tax status our guiding
principals are still based on saving environmental resources.
The RPC also collaborates with other non-profit organizations to spread
the word about the Co-op and recycled product procurement. Affiliate
non-profit organizations are partnering with the RPC to promote it
more effectively in their geographic region. These programs are a win-
win for all concerned. Affiliate organizations win because they share in
the benefits of using our innovative programs to help further their
causes as well as making some money in the process. The Co-op wins
because it gets the word out to more people and organizations by
having its affiliates work with their own member base. The
environment wins because more people buy recycled products which
helps ease the burden on our natural resources.
How the Cooperative Works
The overall volume that the Co-op represents has motivated the RPC's
suppliers to provide recycled paper and office products at significantly
reduced rates. Membership in the Co-op is convenient and easy. There
are no membership fees, and bulk purchases do not need to be made to
receive competitive pricing. RPC membership is open to businesses,
public entities and individuals. The Co-op is open for enrollment in
every state in the U.S. Your membership makes a difference!
Purchasing Products through the Cooperative- Going Beyond
The RPC started out and has primarily concentrated on selling recycled
paper. We've had such a positive response that we decided it was time
to expand the Co-op into "other" environmentally sustainable products. There are
thousands of recycled and remanufactured products available�each
one representing an environmental savings, and we've included over
2,000 of them in the
RPC online store! Our online store is helping us expand our
product and member bases by offering recycled content office supplies
as well as recycled paper in small quantities. The online purchasing
process is easy. Potential members ordering 10 cases of recycled paper
at a time, and organizations considering bulk orders of other products
contact the Co-op in order to
receive information on discounted pricing.
Join the Co-op Now!
Recycled Copy Paper really does make a difference! We have saved
over 98,028 trees, 28.6 million gallons of water, 16.7 million kWatt hours of electricity and prevented over
244,467 pounds of air pollution from entering our skies! To put this in perspective,
if you took all the reams of paper we've sold (4,363,226) and stacked them on top of each other,
the stack would be 137 miles high! As you can see there are
tremendous environmental savings that can be achieved by using recycled copy paper, and this applies just the same way to other recycled products.
Using Recycled Paper Saves Resources and Trees
Conservatree, a national authority on recycled paper, estimates that approximately 7 to 24 full grown trees (depending on whether
you're using 30% or 100% post-consumer content paper) are saved for every 40 cases (1 ton) of recycled paper purchased instead of virgin fiber paper. Conservatree also estimates that each ton of 100% post-consumer recycled paper that displaces a ton of virgin fiber paper saves:
* 7,000 gallons of water
* 4,100 kw hours of electricity
* 60 pounds of air pollution
The trees you save by buying recycled paper products:
* Provide oxygen
* Help reduce climate change (GLOBAL WARMING)
* Protect fisheries
* Provide habitat for wildlife
* Increase precipitation
* Provide medicines
Whatever a product is made of it is better to reduce, reuse, recycle and buy recycled! Here are some other reasons why�
Save Landfill Space - According to the EPA, just paper and paperboard alone represent 38.1% by weight of the municipal solid waste stream. In fact, many of the items that end up in the landfills are recyclable or reusable in some way! It is important to realize that when the materials we recycle go into new products, they don't go into landfills or incinerators, so scarce landfill space is conserved. Again, if you took the
paper we have sold and put it in a landfill, it would take up 21,294 cubic yards of space. That is the same thing as covering over an entire football field (100 yards long by 60 yards wide)
11 feet deep with paper! It would weigh over 10,908 tons (21,816,100 pounds), and if you take the average lineman on a football team (average weight is about 300 pounds) it would take
72,720 football players to make up that weight. Imagine all the landfill space you could save by recycling and
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Save Money and Create Jobs -
Recycling and remanufacturing processes produce substantially more jobs than land filling or incinerating -- usually at a lower cost to local governments and residential and business ratepayers. In fact, according to Californians Against Waste, recycling results in up to 36 times more jobs than land filling.
Closing the Loop -
Recycling is great but it only works if you close the loop. So what does that mean? As you throw that used paper or that plastic bottle into the recycling bin you need to be aware that it has to be turned into a new product and purchased by someone in order to really close the recycling loop. It is estimated that over 100 million trees are cut each year just to supply fiber for copy paper in the U.S. Also, oil supplies around the world are being depleted partly so we can continue to produce all the plastic products we use every day. It's estimated to take up to 3 liters of oil to produce a single toner cartridge alone. Purchasing and using recycled products lessens the pressure put on natural resources and helps to keep functioning ecosystems intact. In addition, it saves energy and water, helps to preserve landfill space, supports recycling markets, and bolsters the economy. So not only do you need to recycle your items when you are done with them, but you need to buy the newly made recycled content products to truly support the process.
Visit Our Tools and Resources Section for more information regarding the benefits of using recycled paper and products.
Free Membership � Join Our Co-op
(Membership Form Below)
Why Join? Why Buy Through The Cooperative...
Using recycled office products results in positive environmental impacts. Buying
sustainable products has other benefits including�
* Your purchasing volume allows the Co-op to have more power in the
marketplace, and to negotiate further reduced pricing for all members
* You'll enjoy one-stop shopping for all your recycled office products
* Some of our profits are invested
into programs that help put trees back into the ground. This helps offset some
of the carbon footprint created from manufacturing, transporting and using the
paper you buy.
* All proceeds support our national efforts to increase the use of recycled
* Tree and resource savings are calculated for bulk paper purchases
* This on-line store exists because we had so many requests from smaller
volume users and decentralized purchasing agencies that we created the
program to accommodate those purchasers. We are flexible enough to design
our programs to meet our members' needs. We listen to our members!
* We designed this store to help other environmental efforts besides our own. As
an example: you may be linked to our store through another environmental
organization or non-profit and some of the proceeds from your purchases help not only the
Recycled Products Co-op but these other worthwhile agencies! You get great
products, you help the environment, and several non-profit organizations stay
afloat!!! Wow! That's good!!!
* As funding permits we are researching new and innovative ways to enable
more effective recycling processes in the U.S. This will help keep the raw
material costs for recycled products low which again helps you the consumer.
About Our Members
The majority of Co-op members switched to buying recycled paper and recycled
products through the RPC. They come from the public and private sectors
and include: public schools, banks, service providers, retailers,
manufacturers, hospitals, cities, counties, universities, non-profits and more.