There is increasing awareness about environmental sustainability among consumers and businesses. And this awareness is also growing when it comes to paper and printing. That’s why we thought that a closer look at the recycling process might be interesting to those who are environmentally conscious and try to make green choices.
Today, we’re going to tell you how paper is recycled.
How is paper recycled?
When you consider that almost all cellulose fibre can be recovered and turned into new paper, you realise just how important it is to correctly sort paper for recycling. In fact, without it, the great recycling machine won’t run. In the next section, we explain exactly how the system works.
The paper recycling process involves a number of different steps, the most important of which are:
- Waste collection. Everything starts here with the careful disposal of rubbish. Which types of paper can be recycled? Newspapers, magazines, printed paper, notebooks, flyers, old envelopes, paper bags, tissues and napkins (only if clean), card, cardboard… Everything, so long as it hasn’t been treated with varnishes or plastic coatings, or come into contact with greasy substances.
- Waste sorting. First check: the material collected is examined and the recyclable fibre is separated from everything else.
- Pressing and shredding. Paper that has passed the first sorting check is pressed and shredded.
- De-inking. Chemicals are used to remove ink residues.
- The de-inked paper is soaked in hot water to create a pulp.
- Second check: more contaminants are removed from the pulp.
- The contact points between the cellulose fibres are reinforced to improve the paper’s strength and elasticity.
- The paper is then passed through a Fourdrinier machine which rolls the paper into sheets of different thicknesses and formats.
And that’s how a load of used paper is made into new sheets ready for…
What can you make out of recycled paper?
Eco–friendly business cards, postcards and invitation cards, flyers, folded flyers, posters and tags: we print all sorts of products on recycled paper. When you consider that some of these items, like flyers and invitation cards, quickly end up in the bin, it becomes immediately clear how important it is to reduce waste. Our customers who print on recycled paper do so because they have a green philosophy and want to share this with the world.
Over time, the production process has been perfected to the point where, in terms of appearance and performance, recycled paper is almost indistinguishable from paper that isn’t. Which is why it can be used for many different purposes. Take a look at just how many products carry the recycled paper symbol – we bet there are some you’ll never have guessed!