United Methodist Women Leader Buys Processed Chlorine-Free Paper at Office Depot
Ms. Coffman is pictured here with Office Depot executive Andrew Dee and10 reams of Rolland Enviro 100 Copy paper at the Office Depot in Schaumburg, Ill.
by DANA E. JONES*
When I met up Patsy Coffman in Schaumburg, Ill., for a church meeting this month, we decided to visit the nearby Office Depot to see if it was stocking processed chlorine-free (PCF) paper as part of a 90-day market test in the Chicago area by the office-supply store chain.
We found 10 reams – a case – of the paper prominently displayed among an assortment of copy-paper choices. The paper, which is produced by Rolland Paper, stood out for its green-and-white packaging among Office Depot-brand papers that were packaged in red and white.
I took some photos of Ms. Coffman with the paper, and we checked the back of one ream where we found the logo showing the paper was certified by the Chlorine Free Products Association. And we asked to meet the store’s manager to thank him for participating in the market test.
When we told him we were United Methodist Women, he immediately pointed us to the where the PCF paper was for sale. Our first thrill: He’d heard of United Methodist Women and knew we cared about the environment and human health.
When asked about sales of the paper, he said they started with three cases. Two had been sold. Ms. Coffman bought the third case, which she planned to take back to Michigan for use by several United Methodist Women groups.
As Ms. Coffman and I left the store, pushing a shopping cart filled with environmentally friendly paper, we laughed. Both of us have made numerous trips to office-supply stores and copy shops over the years asking for processed chlorine-free paper. The answer has usually been blank stares from store employees and managers who have not heard of the product or offers to sell us acid-free paper, which will last a long time but which has been bleached with chlorine.
I was flying home to New York so couldn’t take any of the paper with me but knew it would soon be in the hands of United Methodist Women members who have been part of the organization’s more than 10-year campaign to get PCF paper stocked in copy shops and office-supply stores.
Almost simultaneously, Ms. Coffman and I said something like:
“It’s great to be United Methodist Women. When we’re persistent, we make things happen.”