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[GreenYes] Papermaking

Sorry this is so late, I was awaiting an answer from a friend in the paper industry......

Regarding the use of calcium carbonate in paper, filler levels can be in the 10-15% range and there have been efforts

to increase that to perhaps 20%. These are all alkaline papers. The brightness issue is one of preference; the Europeans use much brighter

paper than we do (too bright in my view). We can brighten paper by other means that by using calcium carbonate also.  The mineral gives an opaque,

uniform sheet and substitutes for fiber.  Other approaches will no do this. 

Hope this helps!

Christine McCoy
Director, Environmental Programs
Rural Community Assistance Program
1522 K Street, NW #400
Washington, DC  20005
Phone: 202/408-1273 ext. 104
Fax: 202/408-8165

 -----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2002 11:16 AM
To: GreenYes
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] Papermaking 

Does anyone know how much calcium carbonate is used in making recycled paper?  If the argument is truly mineral-vs-trees, then using more recycled fiber ought to reduce the number of trees required, thereby changing the calculation substantially.  Or is the issue "bright" paper?  I'm sure there are products for which calcium carbonate is the best available raw material (possibly the other uses mentioned in the WSJ article).  But if its being used instead of recycled paper fiber and only to produce blindingly white paper, then (IMHO) the argument for mining doesn't hold water (so to speak).

Sharon Gates
Recycling Specialist
City of Long Beach, California

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