Leaving the Paper Trail: Army Reserve Issues Paper Reduction Policy
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

In America, we live in a digital age. Yet, demands for paper are constantly increasing.

According to The World Counts, offices in the United States consume over 12 trillion pieces of paper annually, and every sheet creates a lot of waste.

Paper is one of the largest components of municipal solid waste in landfills. The United States Army Reserve's Solid Waste Program estimates that paper comprises 25 percent of the enterprise's municipal solid waste, based on the national average.

The Army Reserve is committed to reducing our waste, increasing our waste diversion and protecting our assets for our Soldiers, Civilians and Families -- today and in the future.

"We want to see an increase in municipal solid waste diversion of two percent each year, with the thought that paper reduction practices and recycling efforts contribute to this goal," said Tyrone Cook, Army Reserve Solid Waste Program Coordinator.

To that end, Colonel Marshall D. Banks, Director of the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate, has signed the United States Army Reserve Paper Reduction Policy.

"All Army Reserve operations rely on viable, affordable and dependable natural and fiscal resources," Cook explained. "By reducing our paper use, we can contribute to the conservation of these resources, which are vital to sustaining our mission. By implementing policy that promotes cost-effective paper reduction and print management methods across the enterprise, we move closer to achieving federal, Department of Defense and Army paper reduction goals."

The Army Reserve Paper Reduction Policy supports Executive Orders; the Department of Defense Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan; numerous Army directives on printing, copying and purchasing; and the Army Reserve Solid Waste Implementation Strategy.

Specifically, the policy directs that all printers are to be set to "duplex" (double-sided) printing mode in black, white or greyscale; that agencies are to purchase uncoated printing paper containing at least 30 percent post-consumer recycled content; and that Commands are to revise their Integrated Solid Waste Management Plans to include paper use reduction and printing best management practices.

"We hope to further develop a culture that practices effective paper use reduction and print management habits," said Cook. "We want to see a reduction in the procurement of paper as well as the use of paper."

The full text of the Army Reserve Paper Use Reduction Policy and paper reduction practices are available online at sustainableusar.com/PaperReductionPolicy.

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