Prairie Pulp & Paper, Inc.

Prairie Pulp & Paper, Inc.

August 14, 2012 09:03 ET

Introduction of Straw-Based Copy Paper for Canadian Consumers

A Turning Point in Protecting Forests

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 14, 2012) - Today marks an important step forward in protecting forests: straw-based copy paper with 80 per cent less forest fibre than traditional paper is now widely available to Canadian consumers, small businesses and home offices at Staples Canada.

The paper is designed and produced by the entrepreneurial Winnipeg-based company Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc. It contains 80 per cent straw from leftover by-product of harvested wheat crops and 20 per cent Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified wood fibre. Aptly marketed under the brand name Step Forward Paper™, it is a step forward in protecting forests and supporting farmers with new revenue streams, and FSC certified by the Rainforest Alliance.

"Paper made from leftover straw produces high quality and performance that compares with other copy and printer papers," said Pete Gibel, Vice President of Merchandising at Staples Canada. "It's an easy and cost-effective way for consumers and small businesses to conserve our world's forests without sacrificing quality."

Step Forward Paper™ is accessible to consumers exclusively through Staples stores across Canada and online at Staples.ca thanks to the support of Canada's leading national distributor Unisource Canada, which teamed up with Staples Canada to make it happen.

"We are always looking to bring innovation to the market and we feel that Step Forward Paper™ is a technology breakthrough that will be remembered as a defining turning point in the paper industry," said Dan Barbagallo, President of Unisource Canada. He added, "With this new alternative fibre product you no longer have to make trade-offs. Our customer Staples, consumers and the environment are all winners."

Jeff Golfman, Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc. President, explained, "Step Forward Paper™ is the first paper of its kind to hit shelves in North America, and the first step toward meeting more of our paper needs from straw instead of ancient forests." The paper is presently made at a facility in India. "Our goal is to establish a market that will support our plans to build a new state-of-the-art facility in the Canadian prairies in Manitoba, which will in turn enable us to produce this straw paper with an even smaller footprint," said Golfman.

Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc. is working in partnership with Canopy, the award winning not-for-profit environmental organization that is collaborating with large paper customers to protect forests by developing the North American straw paper industry. Canopy's highly successful book (Margaret Atwood) and magazine (Canadian Geographic) straw paper trials have already established momentum and appetite for straw paper products.

"Our market survey continues to quantify a clear and growing demand from large paper customers for paper made from leftover straw," said Amanda Carr, Canopy's Campaign Director. "Now we're excited because shoppers like you and I can pick up Step Forward Paper™ and support a straw paper industry in North America, a key to protecting our endangered ancient forests," noted Carr.

About Canopy

Canopy is a not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting the world's forests, species and climate by advancing sustainable solutions for businesses. We believe collaboration is key, therefore we work with over 700 large-scale forest product customers. Canopy forges visionary partnerships to develop and promote solutions, and is leading the charge to develop a straw pulp and paper industry in North America. Visit us at www.canopyplanet.org.

About Prairie Pulp & Paper, Inc.

The industry leader in research, development and commercialization of tree-free pulp and paper for the past 14 years, Prairie Pulp and Paper Inc. is led by President Jeff Golfman and Chairman Clayton Manness. Phase one for the company is the manufacturing and importing of Step Forward Paper™. Phase two will include constructing a 100% tree-free, state-of-the-art, eco-mill in the Canadian prairies, where millions of tonnes of leftover straw are readily available. The trademark license code for Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc. is FSC® C109753. For more information visit www.stepforwardpaper.com.

About Unisource Canada, Inc.

Unisource Canada, Inc., is a subsidiary of Unisource Worldwide, Inc., and is Canada's national supplier of printing and imaging products, Wide Format media and equipment, packaging and maintenance supply products - operating from 18 locations across Canada. Unisource Canada is committed to being the choice for integrated business solutions that drive customers to improved performance and continues to offer Customer Solutions in a Global Market. For more information about Unisource Canada, visit www.unisource.ca.

About Staples Canada

Staples, Canada's largest office products company, is committed to providing Canadians with a wide choice of office services and products. Serving all types of business-from the small home office to large enterprise-Staples makes it easy for customers to operate their offices efficiently and affordably by offering an extensive selection of office supplies, technology, electronics and office furniture as well as business services, including computer repair and maintenance, and copy and print services. Operating as Bureau en GrosMC in the province of Quebec and Staples® Canada in all other provinces, the company employs over 15,000 associates at 320+ stores and at their head office in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Ranked as one of Canada's top five Canadian companies in Marketing Magazine's Marketing/Leger 2010 Corporate Reputation Survey, Staples/Bureau en Gros is dedicated to offering customers the highest level of service, whether they choose to shop in-store, by catalogue or online. Staples Canada/Bureau en Gros is also invested in a number of corporate giving programs that actively support environmental, educational and entrepreneurial initiatives in Canadian communities from coast to coast. Visit www.staples.ca for more information, or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

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