Under Missouri law, newspapers or publications using newsprint with an average daily, or on day of publication, distribution of 15,000 or more must report how much recycled content newsprint they use. Or they must claim exemptions with explanations why recycled content was not used. Publications seeking exemptions often cite inferior quality, cost issues, or a combination of supply, quality and cost issues.

To encourage and support the use of recycled content newsprint, Missouri publishers and state legislators supported Chapter 260.255. As a result, a recycled content usage goal was established in 1993. The goal was first set at 10 percent, 20 percent in 1994, 30 percent in 1995, but by 1996 through 1998 the goal was 40 percent. By the year 2000 and beyond, the goal is 50 percent.

Missouri newspapers reported 49 percent average usage rates of recycled content newsprint in 2006. In 2004 average usage rate of recycled content newsprint was 58 percent. The 2003 average usage rate was 52 percent. The 2002 average usage was 47 percent as compared to 43 percent in both 2000 and 1999. In 1998 the average usage rate was 40 percent. Several major Missouri newspapers also reported recycled content usage of well over 50 percent in 1998.

Sixty-seven publications or 79 percent of the 85 publications reporting in 2004 and in 2003, met or exceeded the 50 percent goal. In 2004, 43 publications reported using 100 percent recycled content usage. Six publications used 100 percent recycled content newsprint in 2001. Due to market constraints, that was far less than the 41 publications using 100 percent recycled content newsprint in 2000. See the chart of recycled content usage for the years 2000-2006 available below.

Full recycled newsprint reports for calendar years 2000-2004 follows: