Step Forward Paper – Converting Waste into a Viable Printing Paper

inspecting wheat sheet

A press sheet from a project that ran last weekend for one of our Seattle-based clients, Cascade Designs who are running all of the text pages for their most recent project on the Step Forward Paper.

We are very pleased with the response to our recent launch of Step Forward Paper, a new alternative paper substrate introduced to market earlier this year.  It looks and acts much like a traditional paper but with one significant difference: the paper is made from 60% wheat straw fibre, an agricultural waste product, withwoody harrellson step forward paper the balance made from 40% FSC® certified wood fibre. This groundbreaking product has garnered plenty of attention in North American media channels, partly thanks to one of the co-founders, Woody Harrelson, who has invested and is lending his star power to promote its products.

A few important things you should know about Step Forward Paper if you are considering it for a project:

  • Pricing is at a competitive level, in-line with 100% post-consumer fibre papers.
  • Available only in 54lb, 60lb and 70lb text weights –  100% post-consumer waste cover weights are available from Hemlock, and would be a logical complement to the Step Forward text paper.
  • Stocked locally by Unisource, who works with Step Forward on maintaining a healthy inventory of sheet sizes for all three text weights
  • Paper shade is “warmer” than a traditional tree-based paper – one that is noticeable with a side-by-side comparison but much less noticeable when looking at a final printed sample.
  • Made offshore in India as there is no mill in North America that can currently manufacture this type of paper. Step Forward Paper’s future plans include building a state-of-the-art mill in the Canadian Prairies that will manufacture 100% tree-free paper. Currently, the lead time on this paper is significant, so any larger projects should be planned well in advance.
  • Part of our Carbon Neutral Zero program. The work by Step Forward and Offsetters on the full lifecycle carbon footprint on this paper provides for inclusion in our Zero program.

With several jobs completed, the paper has performed exceptionally well for us and we’re excited to have it incorporated in an increasing number of projects for our clients. Considering this paper choice for your next project?  Contact us or your Hemlock sales representative and we’ll be happy to help you understand the potential of alternative substrates! 

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