Monday 29 July 2013

Mixing FSC and PEFC papers

Given the antagonism between these two approaches, it is better to avoid mixing them in a single product. However, there is nothing in either standard which says you can't mix them so that you have, say, an FSC cover and PEFC text.

This blog tells you the rules to follow.

Note that there is nothing in either standard to prevent this. However, were you to have predominantly FSC paper and make an FSC claim, then FSC put the onus on you to prove that the non-FSC paper meets a list of requirements; you cannot take the paper supplier's word for it. This tends to make it not worth doing.

Which claim to use?
You cannot claim that the product meets both standards. This is because both standards require a minimum of 70% content. Therefore, use the standard for the predominant content.  

Chosing paper to achieve the minimum final content
As the minimum is 70%, you cannot use 70% paper for the bulk of the product and then dilute it with paper from the other standard as the result would be below 70%, even if the difference is minor, say 1%. Therefore, you must specify paper which is sufficiently higher than 70%, eg choose 80%, 100% or credit.  Note that you cannot go for a 50/50 mix as this would not meet the 70% requirement.

Positioning the logo.
As you can only make one claim, you can only use one logo. This logo must be printed on the paper to which it applies. For example, if you are making a PEFC claim because the text paper is PEFC, then the logo must be on the text paper; it must not be on the cover.

Calculating the claim

128 pp text 80 gsm 100% PEFC
4pp cover 200 gsm FSC 100%
4pp insert 80 gsm FSC 100%

Calculate as follows:

Text content
128 x 801

Cover content
4 x 200

Insert content
4 x 80

Total content
10240 + 800 + 320


PEFC content
10240 x 100%


1 Strictly, this should be multiplied by the area of the page to calculate the weight, but you get the same end result either way.

A word about inserts

Inserts are not normally regarded as being an inherent part of the product. Therefore, you can normally ignore them. If you think about it, it would be a nightmare with the normal situation where inserts are supplied by other printers over which you have no control.

Further support
Strategic Safety Systems provide systems and support for companies who require FSC and/or PEFC certification. To date, we have helped over 40 companies with this.


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