Paper recycling refers to the processes of reprocessing scrap paper for reuse. Waste paper is obtained from paper mill paper scraps, pre-consumer waste, and post-consumer waste. Many different kinds of paper can be recycled, including office paper, white paper, colored paper, magazines, junk mail, paperboard, shredded paper, toilet roll tubes, just to name a few.
Benefits of Paper Recycling
Statistics show that the average American adult uses seven trees a year in paper and wood products. This translates to approximately 2,000,000,000 trees a year that are cut down to meet our needs. This can negatively impact the environment. The most dramatic impact is the loss of habitat for different animal and plant species. Additionally, cutting trees negatively affects our climate. That is why it makes sense to recycle existing paper. So, what are the benefits of paper recycling?
1. Recycling Helps the Environment
The greatest benefit of recycling is that it plays a major role in protecting the environment. According to data from EPA, producing recycled paper causes 35 percent less water pollution and 74 percent less air pollution than using only raw materials to manufacture virgin paper.
2. Recycling Reduces Energy and Water Consumption
Paper recycling reduces energy and water consumption significantly. According to data from the Australian Conservation Foundation, one ton of recycled paper saves more than 30,000 liters of water, 4,000 kilowatts of electricity and 13 trees.
The Paper Recycling Process
Step 1: Collection
Recyclers collect paper materials from paper stores, trash bins, paper scrap yards and commercial companies that generate paper waste. The paper materials are then taken to a local collection center or a recycling plant where they are deposited in a large paper recycling container.
Step 2: Sorting
Once the materials get to the paper recycling facility, they are separated based on the quality and the value of the paper (the material used to make the paper). For example, thick paper materials will be separated from thin, lightweight materials like newspapers.
Step 3: Shredding and Pulping
Once the paper has been sorted out, it will be transported to the mill for processing. The mill has large machines that shred the paper into small bits. After the paper is finely shredded into small pieces, it is tossed into a pulper that contains chemicals and water. The solution breaks down the fiber materials of the paper into tiny fibers.
The pulp produced after this process is then passed through a series of machines to remove pieces of contaminants like glue, staples and plastic film. The resultant material is then mixed with fresh pulp to allow the slurry substance to solidify and create a firmer end product.
Step 4: Filtering, Conterminal Removal, and De-Inking
In this stage of the Paper Recycling Melbourne at AB Recycling process, the mixture passes through screens which remove dirt. Cleaning chemicals are then stirred into the pulp to remove oil, tiny dirt and other contaminants. During this process, dense materials like metals settle at the bottom while light materials such as plastics float for elimination.
The water fiber mixture is de-inked by placing it in a chemical solution and air bubbles that carry the ink or dye off with them to enhance purity and whiteness.
Step 5: Finishing for Reuse
The pulp is spread on a wide screen to allow the water to drain off. The semi-dried pulp is then placed on heated metal rollers which dry the paper and turn them into smooth sheets of papers. The paper is rolled into huge rolls, ready for cutting, packaging, and transportation.