Paper mills that are in close proximity to recovered paper—usually in high-density population areas, also known as “the urban forest”—are usually best positioned to produce paper with high levels of recovered fiber. This is due primarily to the lower costs to collect and transport recovered fiber. Conversely, paper mills that are in close proximity to sustainably managed forests are generally better positioned to utilize fresh fiber rather than recycled fiber.
Many recycled paper mills have invested in equipment and process improvements to make it possible to use relatively higher levels of recycled content in the products they manufacture. Likewise, mills that are located near managed forests are, on the whole, intentionally designed and engineered to produce paper from fresh fiber.
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