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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (New York, New York)
For Immediate Release                                 September 14, 1998

Statement By The President

Today I am pleased to sign an Executive Order strengthening federal efforts to protect the environment and promote economic growth through the purchase of recycled and other environmentally preferable products.

As the nation's largest paper purchaser, the federal government has a special responsibility to lead the way in building markets for recycled goods. Since 1993, when I signed an earlier Executive Order to promote recycling, we have quadrupled our purchase of recycled-content paper. Today, we are going the next step. I am directing agencies to ensure that as of January 1 they purchase only recycled paper. Through this single action, we will save up to half a million trees a year, reduce air and water pollution, and curb emissions that contribute to global warming. We will also harness our tremendous purchasing power to spur the growing market for recycled products.

To further promote the use of environmentally preferable products, this "Greening the Government" Executive Order also directs agencies to establish recycling targets, encourages them to purchase biobased and other "green" products, and creates a White House task force to oversee federal recycling efforts.

Recycling is one of America's great environmental success stories. Across the country, families and businesses each day demonstrate their commitment to our environment through the simple act of recycling. By redoubling our efforts to "green the government," we are demonstrating once again that the environment and the economy go hand in hand, and helping to promote a more sustainable future for America.