About the Co-op
We are all about Saving Natural Resources!
As of 10/31/08, RPC members have purchased over 422,785 cases of 30% and 100% post-consumer recycled paper, saving:
* 93,832 trees
* 27,389,230 gallons of water
* 16,032,967 kilowatt hours of electricity
* And preventing 233,987 pounds of air pollution!
History of the Cooperative
Recycled paper represents less than 5% 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 other products.
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. Last year 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 Paper
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 should 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 93,832 trees, 27.4 million gallons of water, 16.0 million kWatt hours of electricity and prevented over 233,987 pounds of air pollution from entering our skies! To put this in perspective, if you took all the reams of paper we've sold (4,227,853) and stacked them on top of each other, the stack would be 133 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 21,137 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 10,376 tons (20,753,400 pounds), and if you take the average lineman on a football team (average weight is about 300 pounds) it would take 69,178 football players to make up that weight. Imagine all the landfill space you could save by recycling and buying recycled!
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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 products
* 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 office 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.