Dwight Schrute and Michael Scott

Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute (played by Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson) would probably love to sell you some high-yield paper. The two star in the U.S. version of "The Office," which revolves around the fictional paper company Dunder Mifflin.

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Someone alert Michael Scott: There may be a revolution in paper brewing. As we move to a supposedly paperless age, the old-fashioned stuff still has a role to play -- each year U.S. consumers use 1 trillion sheets of paper in printers and copiers -- but so do new types of paper, particularly those that can be friendlier to the environment [source: Xerox]. Enter high-yield paper, pioneered by Xerox and announced in July 2007.

The paper giant says that its high-yield paper, which spent 17 months in development and uses 50 percent fewer trees, is cheaper and greener [source: DM News]. Xerox calls it the "first mechanical fiber paper for digital printing" [source: Xerox]. The company also recommends the paper for business clients that do digital printing (fliers, brochures, catalogs, invoices or bills) or for conventional printing and sharing of documents in an office. This is the sort of paper that needs to be able to show fairly good quality images and text but isn't necessarily as pricey as premium paper. Xerox also says that the new, more eco-friendly paper is well-suited for "transactional printers" -- the large, expensive, high-speed, monochrome machines that are standard in many offices and coffee shops [source: Xerox].

At first only available for corporate clients, the paper is now widely available. A single carton of 5,000 sheets retails for $54 on the Xerox Web site. A similar carton of 20-pound multipurpose paper retails for $42.99 at Staples.com. When announcing the paper, Xerox said it was 5 percent cheaper than regular bond paper [source: NPR].

So is this paper actually a step in a new direction? Is the production process as environmentally progressive as Xerox claims it is? Should Dunder Mifflin start stocking it immediately? Let's take a look.