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[greenyes] paper recycling says:

+ACI-According to our paper gurus at Weyerhaeuser (our buyer), completely clean white paper could theoretically be recycled nine times. But since there are so many inks, clays, glues, etc. on paper, it is more realistic to say four times.

It+IBk-s the length of the fiber that determines how many times it can go through the recycling process, which is why we don+IBk-t like shredded paper. Here+IBk-s how it works: Recycled paper is poured into a vat of liquid where it gets mixed into a slurry before it+IBk-s remanufactured. As the new paper gets recycled again and again, the fibers get shorter and shorter each time they go through the process. Shorter fibers are only useful for lower grades of paper. For example, once high grade office paper or junk mail has enjoyed a few lives as letterhead or stationery, it will be demoted and used for shorter fiber applications such as paper toweling. Paper fibers will eventually get too short to be rewoven into new paper and they get washed out in the process.+ACI-

I found more opinions here:

So six or seven is not a bad guess I suppose... By the way, I am glad there is some action on this email list, and I hope to be of some use here.

John Ralston
SLM Waste and Recycling Services

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