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Straw Used in Paper for Special Editions of Margaret Atwood’s New Book

October 11, 2011
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TORONTO—Oct. 11, 2011—Margaret Atwood and Canopy, a forest-advocacy non-profit, have released a limited special edition of Atwood’s new book “In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination,” on a new form of paper. Developed by Canopy, Second Harvest Paper is a North American first, containing only straw leftover after the grain harvest and recycled paper. The special-edition Atwood title is the first book in North America to be printed on this pioneering paper.

“I joined Canopy in this trial to show that we can meet our paper needs using low-footprint straw instead of relying on endangered forests,” says Margaret Atwood. “Second Harvest Paper is the kind of practical innovation that could make paper from endangered forests ancient history.”

Canopy arranged the rare Atwood special edition to demonstrate the viability of Second Harvest Paper as an alternative to conventional papers. Second Harvest Paper is part of a broader Canopy campaign to diversify the North American paper fibre basket in order to reduce the stress on endangered forests by kick starting commercial scale development of straw based papers.

“There is enough leftover straw in North America to keep up to 800 million trees standing every year and Canopy has already identified customer demand to keep four pulp mills running full time,” says Nicole Rycroft, Executive Director of Canopy. “Shifting paper production from our endangered forests to our fields would yield a new resource sector with benefits to farming communities, our economy, and forest ecosystems around the world.”

The special edition books are published by McClelland & Stewart. The Canadian publishing giant already prints many of its titles—including the main run of Atwood’s “In Other Worlds”—on 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper as part of an environmental initiative developed with Canopy 10 years ago.

“We’re very pleased with the way the special edition looks on the Second Harvest Paper,” says Doug Pepper, president and publisher of McClelland & Stewart. “For many years M&S has worked with Canopy to find new alternatives to conventional paper and we look forward to shifting more of our titles to Second Harvest as soon as it’s more commercially available.”

The Second Harvest Paper used in the Atwood book has half the ecological footprint of conventional paper and is the product of a unique partnership Canopy forged with paper producer Cascades Fine Paper, technical collaborators at Alberta Innovates, and leading North American printer Friesens.
 

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