Solid Waste Management Program

Missouri Newspapers Use More Recycled Paper

Missouri is one of fewer than a dozen states that have established goals regarding recycled-content newsprint. Established in 1993, newspapers with an average daily, or on day of publication, distribution of 15,000 or more must report their recycled-content newsprint use or claim exemptions. Publication producers can claim things like inferior quality, cost issues, supply issues, or a combination of these issues as reasons for not using recycled-content newsprint.

The goal was originally set at 10 percent usage of recycled-content newsprint and has steadily risen over the years as publications have enthusiastically responded to the challenge of improving the environment. Beginning in 2000 and continuing to today, the goal for recycled-content usage is 50 percent. In 2004, 79 percent of Missouri publications had met or exceeded the 50 percent recycled-content goal.

This is not to say that it has been easy. In 2001, market constraints caused the use of recycled-content newsprint to fall. As a result, only six publications achieved 100 percent recycled content, compared with 41 publications the previous year.

Despite the difficulties, Missouri’s recycling goal have been met and surpassed since their beginnings. In 1999, 75 percent of Missouri’s 63 reporting publications met or exceeded the 40 percent recycled-content goal and 10 papers used 100 percent recycled-content newsprint. In 2004, 88 percent of Missouri’s 81 reporting publications met or exceeded the 50 percent goal and 51 papers used 100 percent recycled-content newsprint.

Clearly the program has been a success as more publications are using recycled-content newsprint than ever before. It is important to not only to recycle but also to buy recycled-content products in order to continue our efforts to protect and improve Missouri’s water, air, land, energy and cultural resources.

2004 Recycled Newsprint Usage Totals

2003 Recycled Newsprint Usage Totals

2002 Recycled Newsprint Usage Totals

2001 Recycled Newsprint Usage Totals

2000 Recycled Newsprint Usage Totals

1999 Recycled Newsprint Usage Totals


For a complete report on usage of recycled content newsprint see our list of Missouri publications of Recycled Newsprint Usage, or call the Solid Waste Management Program Planning Unit at 573-751-5401.