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[GreenYes] Re: Recycled paper in trouble?

The problems I read here, Susan, are:

1) people who recycle are not sorting paper correctly
2) not all companies send their paper out to be recycled
3) fear of lost of more trees for production of paper due to additional
demand from developing countries

Here are some ideas to work on:

1) If we can segregate paper from glass and metal, then we can also have
different recycling bins to segregate type of paper. Eg, there can be a
recycling bin for envelopes. This will ensure that the plastic from
window envelopes are removed before being recycled. There should be a
bin for paper contaminated with other sort of material.
2) One of the reasons why companies are not keen to recycle could be
fear of confidential information being leaked. Recyclers can encourage
companies to recycle by providing a locked shredding machine. The cost
to supply this machine will be covered if it increases more companies to
3) More research should be carried out to make use of fast growing
tropical plants to be used to manufacture paper. Some examples: farm
leftovers like cornstalks, wheat straw, rice straw, hay straw, banana
stalks, or sugarcane waste, that can be made into tree-free paper. Poo
from animals can be used too
4) This is what I am working on. Change the way we produce reading
materials. Cheaper if delivered as ebook more expensive if a printed
copy is requested. Readers can have to option to read full article
electronically but printed version will be in a summarized table form.
Writers should give buyers the option to choose sections of the book
they are interested in. That means a book can consist of some sections
from different writers. Discourage photocopying section of books for
others by offering to reward readers who recommend what they have read
to others.

Will write more about this as the ideas come.


<-----Original Message----->
>From: Susan Kinsella [susan@no.address]
>Sent: 4/19/2007 4:55:03 PM
>To: greenyes@no.address
>Subject: Re: [GreenYes] Re: Recycled paper in trouble?
>Last week John Reindl asked: "Why is it important that recycled fiber
go to
>printing and writing paper? . . . If recovered fiber is used in P&W,
>that mean that other grades of paper will have to use virgin fiber,
resulting in
>possibly even a loss in terms of cost, chemicals, environmental impact,
>I'm taking this question very seriously because I know that John is
>knowledgeable about recycling. If he has these questions, then I'm sure
>other experienced recyclers do, too. And I believe that the
understanding of why
>it's essential to get more recycled content into P&W papers rather than
>downcycling all the fiber is fundamental to ensuring that we have a
>functioning recycling system appropriate for the 21st century. So
here's how I
>think about it (apologies for the length; hopefully it's worth it):
>1. The situation that causes the most depletion of recycling
opportunities is
>when recovered paper is mixed and not sorted. That cuts off the
potential for
>newsprint, linerboard, tissue and printing/writing mills to use
recovered fiber
>because they cannot used mixed paper (when newsprint, office and
printing paper,
>packaging and boxes are all mixed together). Rather, each kind of mill
>specific kinds of fibers, different for each type, with the other
>constituting contaminants in their manufacturing systems. There are
some types
>of paper mills, making certain kinds of products, that can used mixed
paper, but
>the majority of paper mills cannot.
> If recovered fiber is being sorted properly, most mills are not taking
>away from others, since each type takes mostly different parts of the
>P&W can use recovered office paper, and more than half of that is still
>collected in the U.S., so there is plenty to support an increase.
>2. The engine for recycling is manufacturing. Although we use the word
>"recycling" for all parts of the process, we have not truly achieved
>until the materials are incorporated into new products. While
collection and
>diversion support achieving recycling, the focus has to be on providing
>feedstocks for manufacturers, and it needs to support their hitting
very high
>quality and tight production tolerances if we want them to continue and
>expand using recycled content.
>3. The purposes for recycling, in my mind, are to reduce waste,
>resources, minimize the manufacturing footprint and reduce negative
>environmental impacts as much as possible.
>4. In the U.S., P&W makes up a substantial portion of the paper
industry - 27%
>- yet it uses a miniscule amount of recycled fiber, approximately 6%
>about equally between preconsumer and postconsumer). Other paper
>sectors use far more. For example, tissue products average 45% recycled
>(although most of the most heavily advertised consumer tissue products
>none), but tissue accounts for only 8% of U.S. paper production.
Newsprint in
>North America averages 32.5% recycled fiber, but even when putting U.S.
>Canadian production together (Canada supplies the majority of newsprint
to U.S.
>publishers), it only accounts for 9% of paper production. Within the
>sector in the U.S., folding boxboard averages 37% recycled content (but
>kinds of paperboard boxes have none) and corrugated containers average
>recycled content (mostly from the mixed paper in the inner medium
>5. The majority of P&W products are made from bleached kraft pulp, the
>resource-intensive type of pulping and the one that produces the most
>environmentally damaging results, from demand on forests to toxic
chemicals and
>emissions. Therefore, replacing as much of this production with
recycled content
>as possible also provides the greatest environmental benefits of all
the paper
>sectors. Specifically, making copy paper from 100 percent recycled
content, for
>example, reduces:
>. total energy consumption by 44 percent (even when accounting for
>transportation for recycling),
>. net greenhouse gas emissions by 38 percent,
>. particulate emissions by 41 percent (which include many that cause
>problems such as asthma),
>. wastewater by 50 percent,
>. solid waste by 49 percent, and
>. wood use by 100 percent.
>(Source: Environmental Defense's paper calculator at
> )
>6. Recycled pulp is the most efficient source of fiber for P&W paper.
It takes
>up to 4.4 tons of fresh trees to make one ton of virgin kraft pulp, for
a fiber
>efficiency rate of 23%. (Source: Environmental Defense's Paper Task
>Report, White Paper #3, updated 2002; mills report half the weight
because they
>use dried wood.) But it takes only 1.4 tons of recovered paper to make
one ton
>of recycled kraft pulp, for a fiber efficiency rate of 71%. (Source:
>deinking capacity study by Conservatree and Environmental Defense)
>7. P&W can be recycled the most times, thereby magnifying benefits -
>estimates range from 7-12 times before the fibers become too short and
>and drop out of the system. As long as there continues to be new virgin
>coming into the production system (which could be from nonwood sources
as well
>as forest fibers), and as long as all products are not expected to be
>recycled content, recycling can provide a substantial portion of the
fiber. This
>means that if office papers, for example, are recycled into more P&W,
>already major environmental savings can be magnified 7-12 times, making
>even MORE dramatic.
> In comparison, newsprint can only be recycled 3-4 times. Paperboard
can be
>recycled probably 3-4 times but generally isn't. Once fibers are
downcycled into
>mixed paper products, they can never be re-sorted to be used for P&W
>8. Global paper demand is rapidly escalating; we can't continue wasting
>resources. Five years ago, the UN Environment Programme reported that
>industrialized nations, with 20% of the world's population, consumed
87% of the
>world's printing & writing papers. Think about that. Twenty percent of
>world's population is 1.3 billion people, and you know the UN reference
>primarily to people in North America and Europe, where the use of paper
>capita is greatest. I'm sure the profile is similar for most other
>products, as well.
> But now the billions of people in developing nations are wanting many
of the
>same consumer benefits we have enjoyed for a long time. As you know,
China is
>rapidly building up its paper industry, not only for packaging for
exports but
>also to provide communications materials and other paper products for
its own
>population that has had very little in the past. And India is starting
to build
>up its paper industry now, too. Obviously, between China and India
alone the
>global demand for P&W paper can easily double rapidly.
> Meanwhile, there are a dozen or so enormous mega-size virgin wood pulp
>mills, far bigger than anything that has ever existed before, being
built in
>South America, China, Indonesia, Tasmania and other developing areas.
China is
>pulping the forests in Russia for the virgin fiber portions of their
>products and they are counting on shipping woodpulp from South America
as the
>mainstay for many of their products. Natural forests in many of these
areas are
>being cleared, many are quickly being replace
>=== message truncated ===

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