Southland Firms to Buy More Recycled Paper to Boost Demand

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Bank of America, Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros., Chevron Corp. and six other companies in Southern California pledged Tuesday to use paper products less wastefully and buy more recycled paper.

The initiative, promoted by Californians Against Waste, a Sacramento-based environmental group, is meant to expand the market for recycled paper goods.

"Increasing the demand is crucial to developing a reliable, cost-effective supply of recycled paper," said Tom Decker, executive vice president of Bank of America.

The industry group--the Southern California branch of the Recycled Paper Coalition--also includes Southern California Gas Co., Southern California Edison Co., Nissan Motor Corp. U.S.A., Xerox Corp., Dames & Moore and Yen & Associates.

The companies have agreed to publicly report their efforts to increase the efficiency of their current paper use, adopt comprehensive recycling systems and increase work with paper and equipment manufacturers to boost recycled paper content. They also will buy, whenever possible, paper with at least 10% recycled post-consumer content.

"These folks are actually farther along than anyone else in the country," said Lance King, a spokesman for Californians Against Waste. Similar business groups elsewhere in the country have not subscribed to a definition of post-consumer waste as strict as the coalition's, he said.

"These companies signing the pledge are driving the marketplace," King said. "They buy enough paper that they can go out to their suppliers and say, 'These are the specifications we want you to meet.' And office paper is significant, because it's the fastest-growing portion of paper sales in the country--but the least recycled."

The coalition was formed in June, 1992, and has grown to 87 member companies across the country.

Some coalition members have already substantially increased their recycling efforts. Through October, Bank of America in California increased its recycling of office paper over the previous year by 25%. And since 1991, the bank says, it has boosted its use of recycled paper using 10% or more post-consumer content by more than 300%.

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