UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into wheat paper MacLean, Allister; Bae, Jae Yeong; Wan, Ting Hin


UBC consumes nearly 50 million sheets of copy papers every year. While 30% recycled paper was used until today, Royal printers has proposed to supply seemingly more environment friendly wheat paper to UBC. In this report, environmental, economic, and social aspects of wheat paper and 30% recycled paper have been compared. The Carbon Footprint is one of the most important reasons why wheat paper is more sustainable than 30% recycled paper. The total carbon footprint of wheat production is actually lower than the wood production if carbon storage is taken into account. Cutting down trees would decrease the level of carbon storage and increase the rate of global warming. Economically, after analyzing the cost to the manufacturer, it is confirmed that they are making enough profit so that the price would not be raised afterwards. Also, buying from a developing country would support the global economy. Socially, switching to wheat paper will improve UBC’s reputation as a world leader in sustainability and pave the way for eventual Canadian production of this product. It will also introduce a potentially world changing technology to a continent which knows nothing about it. Considering the triple bottom line, switching the supplier to wheat paper would benefit the global environment, economy, and society. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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