Paper is made in millions of different combinations of size, weight, finish, opacity, brightness, thickness, tensile strength, and content.
The Print Shop stocks a few dozen commonly used papers. Nearby paper vendors inventory a few hundred more, which can be available in a day or two. Beyond those, all the other papers must be ordered from large regional warehouses or directly from mills. Special orders often involve minimum order quantities, transportation costs, and delivery times from several days to several weeks.
Advance Planning can be essential.
The term “recycled” has several meanings in the world of paper. In its earliest form, the term can be used to describe paper that includes mill roll ends and other waste paper fibers from the mill itself that made the paper. In the most extreme form, the term is used to describe paper made entirely from post-consumer fibers that have been collected and processed using waste paper.
Because of various market forces, recycled paper is almost always more expensive in northeastern Pennsylvania. Collecting used paper is expensive, de-inking used paper is expensive and generates hazardous chemicals that require handling, and the requirement in nearby New York State that all government-generated printing be done on recycled paper has generated a monopoly that has inhibited price competition between recycled and non-recycled papers.
The rationale for recycling in our region appears to be more justified by savings in landfill space rather than saving trees. In fact, trees are an agricultural crop that simply has a longer planting-to-harvest cycle than most traditional food crops. Studies show that paper pulp producers plant more trees each year than they harvest.
Except for a few high demand papers that warrant carrying in inventory, most recycled papers must be special ordered from regional warehouses and mills, and often involve minimum order quantities, transportation costs, and delivery times from several days to several weeks.
Again, Advance Planning can be essential.