11 Oct '11, 12pm

Should We Be Pushing for Quality Over Quantity on Paper Recycling?

Should We Be Pushing for Quality Over Quantity on Paper Recycling?

Turning recovered fiber into recycled paper products efficiently is dependent on the quality of feedstock and the technical ability of a manufacture to de-ink, clean, and re-pulp the fiber. Contaminants such as food scraps, plastic, and metal make it more difficult for manufactures and lead to the further downcycling of the fiber. Furthermore, as our waste management systems move from a homogeneous to a more heterogeneous stream of recovered fiber through single stream recycling, it presents additional challenges and constraints with the mixture of different paper types and qualities. For example, a magazine or catalog has different fiber characteristics and shiny coatings than an old newspaper does, which impacts the re-pulping process -- and any additional processing likely causes unnecessary environmental impact. In addition, recovered paper is a commodity and the thirs...

Full article: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/10/11/should-we-be-push...

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