Going Green and Taking it To Go
Aug 31, 2016 06:48PM
● By Kate Morgan
Since 1992, Greenline Paper Company, a York-based office supply company, has been offering green alternatives to traditional office supply products. What began as a company selling recycled-content copier paper to local businesses has expanded to become a national retailer with a wide product line that now includes plant-based kitchen and dining products.
The company’s founder, Stephen Baker, visited Costa Rica in the early 1990s and witnessed firsthand the deforestation and devastation being wrought by the paper industry. When he returned to the U.S., Baker founded Greenline Paper in an effort to alleviate the stress on the rainforest’s diverse ecosystem.
Today, Stephen Weisser is at the helm of Greenline, and he says he is constantly working to expand the company’s product offerings to help businesses “go green” in every possible sense.
“One thing we’re really focused on is our compostable products,” Weisser says. Greenline Paper offers cups, plates, cutlery and take-out containers made entirely from plant-derived materials that are completely compostable. “They’re green alternatives to the foam and plastic items that are more commonly used. You don’t need to look far to see that sort of thing lying in the street or causing problems in the ocean. This is a solution to that.”
While Greenline Paper products are sold and shipped nationwide, the company maintains a showroom at their York location. Weisser says clients are often amazed when they see and feel the compostable products.
“Years ago, recycled stuff used to look and feel different,” he says. “Nowadays, the quality is really incredible. It’s even pretty incredible for us when we first see some of these things. Clear cups that are made from plants look and feel just like plastic. These items are made out of things like sugarcane waste and potato starch, and people are amazed when they learn that.”
Weisser still considers Greenline Paper a local company and maintains a focus on smaller, local accounts, though many clients are located in other parts of the country. The company holds itself to a high environmental standard when it comes to shipping, re-using boxes and using recycled paper to pack shipments, as opposed to plastic or foam packing peanuts.
Greenline Paper is also involved in organizations that promote other green businesses in an effort to spread sustainable practices. “We’re members of Green America and the Sustainable Business Network,” Weisser says. “We find it important for green-minded folks to support one another.”
Weisser says he hopes to see composting programs become more commonplace in Central Pennsylvania, particularly as the use of compostable products increases among businesses and consumers. “Ultimately, we’d like to see more composting going on everywhere,” he says. “I think we’re on our way; certainly there are more programs coming about all the time. In the meantime, if these items get disposed of, the lifecycle in the landfill is still much better than foam or plastic, but we want to do our part to build that composting infrastructure.”
Greenline Paper Company is located at 631 S. Pine St., in York. For more information and to shop the full product line, call 1-800-641-1117 or visit GreenLinePaper.com. See ad, page 28.
Kate Morgan is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.