Waste paper accounts for over 25% of the waste in landfills. Only 50% of office paper is collected for recycling, and even when paper is recycled, most of us do not know where it ends up. Irresponsible recycling companies produce pollution and dump byproducts elsewhere, further contributing to the environmental problem.
In March 2018, Green Initiatives in collaboration with Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), the biggest pulp and paper producer in Asia, who displays strong commitment to environment protection and sustainable production, launched ‘Paperback’, a project which aims to provide corporations and individuals means/channels to recycle paper waste responsibly and raise awareness to reduce paper waste.
Where there is a lack of proper sorting system in place, recyclable paper gets mixed with wet, organic waste, rendering this valuable resource useless. The quality of domestically sourced recycled papers is questionable and most recycled paper is imported from Japan, the US and Europe at a higher cost.
If properly produced and recycled, paper is considered one of the most sustainable products as it can be recycled to create the same thing. By recycling paper responsibly, not only would we conserve natural resources, but also reduce the amount of paper that would end up in landfills, and thus reduce pollution produced from the recycling process.
Write to us for more information.
How can you participate
- Companies and educational institutions - contact us for paper collection, and set up of a branded collection box for your staff and students. We also offer;
- Project launch event and awareness workshops
- Best practices toolkit to reduce paper consumption
- Provide waste data to create incentives to reduce paper waste
- Purchase recycled paper products at discount
- Individuals - our project is currently focused on B2B only. Work with your organzation to set up a Paperback collection system.
Our recycling partner, APP, guarantees the confidentiality of all collected materials so there is no need to shred. However, organizations looking for added level of security may shred their paper, which can still be recycled through the project.
Recycling of Recovered Paper
- As much as 80% of recovered paper can be recycled
- Metals, plastics, ink, clay coatings and adhesives are removed during pulping, cleaning, and screening
- Wood fibers can only be recycled five to seven times before they become too short and brittle to be made into new paper
- While some byproducts inevitably end up in landfills, others can still be used
- Materials that cannot be recycled into paper are either sent to third-parties and used in the manufacturing of different products, namely construction materials. Rest are incinerated.
- Wastewater from pulp paper mills contain three types of byproducts:
- Paper sludge consists mostly of wood fibers. It can be used as fertilizer, replacing expensive chemicals, and is also useful for composting. It also features very low permeability, and can therefore be used in covers for landfills or mines, in addition to more conventional bricks, insulation and roofing
- Boiler ash is a byproduct of burning solid fuel. It can be used in concrete production or gravel for roads.
- Lime mud, which is similar to limestone used in farming, and can has the same applications.
At APP, 40,000 tons of water are treated daily before being released, and this facility ranks among the top domestic paper manufacturers with the lowest water consumption levels
Wastewater meets EPA standards, which carries out both quarterly and random inspections, in addition to third-party inspections that APP voluntarily commissions.
The Paper Recycling Process
After collection and transportation to the recycling facility, paper goes through the pulping process. Here it is shredded into smaller pieces, mixed with hot water, and sieved. The cleaning process then removes unwanted objects such as staples, and the refining process during which colors are extracted and the pulp is beaten to an even consistency.
The papermaking process then combines some virgin pulp with the recovered pulp, and squeezes out excess water before drying the final product.