Choosing the Right Paper Stock: A Guide to Paper Quality and Environmental Impact

Person checking papers

JLS Mailing Services, Inc. has been providing New England’s largest and most trusted mailing, printing, and communication services for over 105 years. When it comes to mail communications, the paper stock used plays a significant role in the success of the project. In addition to paper quality, choosing the right paper stock can also have an impact on the environment. In this article, we’ll discuss how to choose the right paper stock for your mailing project while also considering environmental impact.

Understanding Paper Stock

Paper stock refers to the type of paper used for printing and mailing projects. There are several types of paper stock available, each with different characteristics that impact the final product.

Paper Types

The most common paper types include:

  • Coated Paper: A glossy or matte finish that is ideal for printing high-quality images.
  • Uncoated Paper: A more natural, textured paper that is commonly used for letterheads, envelopes, and other business correspondence.
  • Textured Paper: A paper with a unique texture, such as linen or felt, that adds an extra layer of visual interest to the final product.

Choosing Paper Stock

When choosing paper stock, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • Weight: The thickness of the paper, which is measured in pounds. Heavier paper stock is more durable and has a higher quality feel.
  • Brightness: The amount of light reflected by the paper. Brighter paper is more vibrant and has better contrast for printed text and images.
  • Opacity: The degree to which the paper is transparent. Higher opacity paper is less see-through and better suited for double-sided printing.
  • Finish: The surface texture of the paper, which can be glossy, matte, or textured. The finish impacts the final look and feel of the product.

Environmental Impact

Paper production can have a significant impact on the environment, including deforestation, water usage, and carbon emissions. It’s important to consider the environmental impact of paper production when choosing paper stock for your project.

Sustainable Paper

Sustainable paper is made from recycled materials or responsibly sourced wood pulp. This type of paper production reduces the environmental impact of paper production and is a more eco-friendly option. When choosing paper stock, consider selecting sustainable paper for your mailing project.

Choosing the Right Paper Stock

Choosing the right paper stock for your mailing project involves considering both quality and environmental impact. Here are some steps to follow when selecting paper stock:

Step 1: Identify the Purpose of the Project

Determine the purpose of the mailing project and identify the type of paper stock that will best serve that purpose. For example, coated paper is ideal for high-quality images while uncoated paper is better suited for business correspondence.

Step 2: Consider the Audience

Consider the audience who will receive the mail communication. For example, if the communication is for a high-end luxury brand, a heavier weight paper with a glossy finish may be more appropriate than a thinner, uncoated paper.

Step 3: Evaluate Environmental Impact

Consider the environmental impact of paper production when selecting paper stock. Look for sustainable paper options that use recycled materials or responsibly sourced wood pulp. Consider the amount of paper being used and whether double-sided printing can be utilized to reduce waste.

Step 4: Consult with Experts

If you’re unsure about which paper stock to choose, consult with experts like JLS Mailing Services. They can provide guidance and recommendations based on their years of experience in the industry.


In conclusion, selecting the right paper stock for your mailing project requires careful consideration of quality and environmental impact. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your project goals and sustainability values.

Remember, JLS Mailing Service experts are available to assist you in choosing the best paper stock for your needs. Contact us today at 866-557-6245 or use our contact form on our website’s Contact page to learn more.