Canadian Magazine Industry News
27 November 2013,     TORONTO
Corporate Knights tests out 'wheat straw' paper
Corporate Knights is the first mag in North America to print on a paper made mostly from wheat straw, leftover agricultural waste usually burned on fields after harvest.

"Recycled paper is great, but we don't think that recycled paper is going to fill the demand for paper in general," said Tyler Hamilton, editor-in-chief of the corporate sustainability magazine. "We're in support of alternative fibres that can bridge that gap, complement the availability of recycled fibre, and in effect take pressure off our forests."

Woody Harrelson, co-founder of Prairie Paper Ventures, covers the November issue of Corporate Knights
Woody Harrelson, co-founder of Prairie Paper Ventures, covers the November issue of Corporate Knights

The stock, called Step Forward Paper Professional Grade, is made by Manitoba-based Prairie Paper Ventures, and is a large-format publication version of a commercial product the company introduced in 2012. One of Prairie Paper's founders, actor and environmentalist Woody Harrelson, covers the issue.

Printed on 60% wheat straw, the November issue is a test run for the magazine, usually printed in Canada on Catalyst paper. Hamilton says the mag wanted to print the issue locally but companies were reluctant to run an unfamiliar paper type through their presses. The issue was produced by EarthColor, a New Jersey-based print partner of straw-paper advocate Canopy.

If arrangements can be made with a Toronto-area printer, Hamilton said the magazine will look to adopt the paper on an ongoing basis. "We kind of stuck our necks out hoping to show others that this is worth giving a chance, and hopefully we can get others involved," he said. "We want other publishers to kick the tires as well."

To help cover the pilot project's costs, contra deals were struck with advertisers Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and Staples. The mag's distributor, the Globe and Mail, provided a discount on distribution.

[*UPDATE: Canopy has provided a list of printers now offering Step Forward Paper Professional Grade: the aforementioned EarthColor; MPH Graphics in Markham, Ont.; Burnaby B.C.-based Hemlock; and Plan it Green Printing in Los Angeles.] 

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