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The EU timber regulation that came to force on 3 March 2013, also known as the (Illegal) Timber Regulation counters the trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products through three key obligations. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/timber_regulation.htm
In Plain English, it means all paper products use in EU must come from responsibly sourced timber and not illegal logging of the natural/rain forests.
It works likes blood diamonds tracing. Companies buying or trading rough and polished diamonds should take steps – known as due diligence – to find out whether their purchases have funded conflict or human rights abuses at any point in the supply chain.
Now at least in the EU, companies buying or trading paper should take due diligence to make sure the paper comes from legally sourced timber.
What to do now? Luckily the law is not retrospective, which means you can use up that note book and send that Birthday card, but when you buy the next one you must get an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper or better still buy an alternative paper.
Best example is Parax stone paper. Their notebook are made of stone and contains no wood pulp, legally or illegally logged (www.parax.co.uk).
The notebooks are naturally white and really smooth to write on.