Recycling paper

Improving recycling of paper
Waste-paper recovery
Paper recycling rates have increased substantially in the last several decades. Paper can only be recycled so many times since the process damages cellulose fibres. The handmade paper industry relies wholly on secondary sources including not only waste paper, but also other cellulose-rich materials such as plant fibres and textiles. Handmade paper is mechanically pulped and with minimum use of chemicals. Handmade paper is substantially more resource and environmentally friendly than conventional paper producing industries that consume large quantities of water, chemicals, and electricity. Nor does handmade paper require large scale investment. In India, total production of 310 handmade paper production units equals 7,000 tonnes per annum.

In many parts of the European Union, people can put old newspapers and other waste paper to one side, and dispose of them separately from household refuse. In 1998, 35 million tonnes of waste paper and cardboard were recycled in the EU. That meant that the EU as a whole was twice as advanced as the USA when it came to collecting waste paper.

The Corelex plant in Kawasaki, Japan, is the first "zero waste" paper recycling plant in the world. The discharge water channel ends in a small pond in front of the plant with several healthy gold fish. The smoke house (a small attractive round wood structure) is used for parties. Unlike many paper plants, which struggle over "stickies" and landfill growing mountains of sludge, this new plant can easily take all manner of mixed paper, binders, paper with plastic clips, metal parts, and aseptic poly-coated paper with no problem. The system soaks the incoming paper for longer periods that a standard hydra-pulper. The pulp is de-inked, sterilized and bleached with hydrogen peroxide. The sludge is passed through a screw press to squeeze out much of the water, then burned in a boiler at 800-900 degrees C. The energy from burning the sludge and the polyethylene help run the plant. The material passed into a huge tissue maker, which runs a mile a minute, making 150 tonnes of toilet paper daily. The only waste product is some ash, which is used for filler in a concrete product by another plant nearby.

Counter Claim:
Recycling newspapers does not save trees but does the opposite. Pulp is made from trees planted specially for harvesting or allowed to grow because the price of pulp encourages landowners not to use the land for some other purpose. The higher the demand for paper, the higher the price of forested land, and the greater the area of land set aside for growing trees. If you want more forests, use more paper.
Waste paper
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal