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Progress in Monitoring Pub. L. 101-423

Final Report to Congress on the Joint Resolution to Establish a National Policy on Permanent Papers

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Government Print Office statistics

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In recent years the demand by Government publishers and librarians for a more "permanent" paper has increased. As has been noted previously, long-lasting paper is associated with the alkaline papermaking process.

Procured printing

For fiscal years 1994 and 1995, the alkalinity of the paper stocks used in approximately 2,500 commercially procured printing jobs was monitored by GPO. These papers were tested for pH value and alkaline reserve content. Samples of these commercially procured printing jobs were selected by GPO's Quality Assurance Section and represented all work at quality levels 1 and 2, and 10 percent at quality levels 3 and 4 (level 1 being the highest reproduction quality and level 4 the lowest). The inspection samples represent a fraction of the more than 200,000 jobs purchased by the GPO annually. This testing will continue.

Tables 2A through 3B illustrate the findings for FY 1994 and 1995 with high usage text and cover grades separated out. Of interest, over 90 percent of all coated papers monitored were alkaline. Tables 2B and 3B show more data for coated paper grades because quality level 1 and 2 jobs are typically produced on coated papers. A high percentage of these were alkaline papers. The majority of government publications are actually produced on uncoated JCP A60 offset book text paper that usually has JCP K10 (index) or L20 (vellum-finish) cover paper.

Over 75 percent of the uncoated text paper represented by A60, A61, A80 in tables 2A and 3A and over 90 percent of the coated paper in tables 2B and 3B (except the miscellaneous and A170) were alkaline. Both uncoated and coated papers showed an increase in the percentage of alkaline stocks used from FY 1994 to 1995. Selected grades are listed in Table 4.

Go to: Table 2A Uncoated Paper in Procured Printing, FY 1994
Table 2B Coated Paper in Procured Printing, FY 1994
Table 3A Uncoated Paper in Procured Printing, FY 1995
Table 3B Coated Paper in Procured Printing, FY 1995
Table 4 Comparison of Alkaline Paper Puchased in FY 1994 & FY 1995

Bulk purchases

In GPO's bulk purchases, the amount of alkaline paper received was unaffected by EPA requirements that the paper contain recycled fibers (50 percent wastepaper with 20 percent postconsumer (PC) fiber content in FY 1994, or simply 20 percent postconsumer fiber in FY 1995). In all JCP specifications requiring a PC fiber content or that has a minimum of 25 percent cotton fiber content, the specification requires a minimum pH of 6.5. This requirement has not proven to be a problem thus far for any of the suppliers whose paper is being procured in the quarterly bulk purchases. For the GPO's quarterly procurement of book papers for stocking in GPO (measured in tons), 87 percent were alkaline in FY 1994 and almost all (99.9 percent) were alkaline in FY1995. Even though GPO did not specify that the paper must be alkaline, nearly all of the book papers received (JCP A25, A55, A60, and A80) were alkaline.

Of the bulk purchase of office papers, all of the 25 percent and 50 percent cotton cut-size bond/writing papers (JCP G-series papers) purchased were alkaline in the current year. All the bulk purchased recycled (20 percent PC) copier paper (JCP O-65 paper) were alkaline. Colored JCP O-60 copier paper was about 50 percent alkaline and 50 percent acidic.

There were only a few grades of acidic paper. One was a map paper grade (JCP E40, GPO Lot 94) which was specified to be acidic for the purpose of improving the sheet's ink drying characteristics. Often, colored index (JCP K10) and vellum-finish cover (JCP L20) stocks are also acidic so some of the colors desired by the customer can be attained. Alkaline papers are available for index and cover stock, but in fewer colors.

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