Chlorine Free Paper Issues

 

LISTENING STUDY Question 69:
Is there an optimal amount of virgin tree fiber that should go into paper to ensure high quality/optimal performance?

LISTENING STUDY: Most responses indicate that paper needs to contain some virgin tree fiber but that the specific amount may depend on the paper grade and could decrease with more research.

Wood fibers can be recycled only five to seven times before they become too short and brittle to be made into new paper. At that point, new fiber must be mixed with fiber from recycled paper to form new paper products. Consequently, if the supply of virgin fiber were completely eliminated, the supply of recycled paper would systematically shrink until it too was completely eliminated. To sustain the supply of recycled paper, virgin fiber must constantly be added to the mix. - Boise Cascade

The "optimal" amount of virgin fiber varies based on paper grade and use. However, the quality and performance of postconsumer recycled content papers has increased dramatically over the last several years. Our research has shown that papers with high levels of postconsumer content meet the same quality and performance levels as virgin. - Victoria Mills, Project Manager, Corporate Partnerships, Environmental Defense

Recent tests confirm that 30% postconsumer recycled office papers can match the quality specifications of virgin for copy paper. - Cefola 2001

Every paper grade has its own specific formula for creation. Different paper grades and products will require different amounts of fiber. - International Paper

I would need to see studies that compare the quality and performance of papers made from various sources such as old growth trees, plantation and second growth trees, hemp, straw, kenaf... - Susan Hammond, Executive Director, Silva Forest Foundation

No, it varies, and with appropriate priority placed on research, that percentage should continually decrease. - Frank Locantore, Co-op America

Yes, this depends on the type of paper made. Some papers that require significant strength or are very lightweight have higher requirements for virgin fiber. Generally speaking, the recycled fiber content can increase for papers requiring less strength. - Stora Enso


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