Problem

Waste paper

Other Names:
Improper paper disposal
Newspaper waste
Inadequate recycling of paper
Nature:

The recycling of paper is the process by which waste paper is turned into new paper products. It has a number of important benefits besides saving trees from being cut down. It is less energy and water intensive than paper made from wood pulp. It saves waste paper from occupying landfill and producing methane as it breaks down. Around two thirds of all paper products in the US are now recovered and recycled, although it does not all become new paper. After repeated processing the fibers become too short for the production of new paper.

There are three categories of paper that can be used as feedstocks for making recycled paper: mill broke, pre-consumer waste, and post-consumer waste. Mill broke is paper trimmings and other paper scrap from the manufacture of paper, and is recycled in a paper mill. Pre-consumer waste is a material which left the paper mill but was discarded before it was ready for consumer use. Post-consumer waste is material discarded after consumer use, such as old corrugated containers (OCC), old magazines, and newspapers. Paper suitable for recycling is called "scrap paper", often used to produce moulded pulp packaging. The industrial process of removing printing ink from paper fibres of recycled paper to make deinked pulp is called deinking, an invention of the German jurist Justus Claproth.

Incidence:
Pre-consumer waste paper has long been a by-product of paper manufacture. It is produced from paper mill overruns, sideroll trims and other paper offcuts. Paper made from it used to be called "mill-broke" and was considered a substandard product; now it is often called "recycled". Post-consumer waste is paper which has already been in circulation. It has to be collected, perhaps sorted, and de-inked before being used in the manufacture of recycled paper. The Department of Trade and Industry in the UK has defined recycled paper as being that which contains at least 50% recycled fibres (as opposed to virgin pulp), and so could contain a percentage of either of these wastes.
Related Problems:
Paper shortage
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
14.06.2018 – 19:26 CEST