Recycling of Paper

Recycle Meaning

Recycling can be defined as a process of converting the non-useful and waste products into new products that are useful for humans in general.  Recycling is a great option for saving energy and for conserving the environment as recycling uses much less resources than producing new goods, and thus it is a cost-efficient and eco friendly system.

Recycling is an essential step as the waste that is generated and cannot be degraded by the environment gets converted into something useful and good. Recycling helps in treating waste material and using it to make new products. As recycling helps in getting rid of the waste and non-useful material, it also helps in monitoring air, water, and land pollution alike as the waste is getting recycled, and it is not getting piled up or thrown away in the natural resources.  

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Recycling of Paper

As we know that we use paper in each and part of the work, and at every stage of life, thus paper can be considered as the most used material in the world. Even though technology is gradually replacing paper, it cannot replace the paper entirely so soon. Also, the demand for books and paper is increasing rapidly. Around 400 million metric tons of paper and its products are generated every year. Paper comes from the trees, and the most common trees from where the wood pulp and fibres are extracted to make paper are bamboo, jute, cotton, hemp, and some other plants.  

Steps of Recycling Paper 

Paper constitutes about 50% of the solid wastes in the landfills and the total garbage. As the paper demand is not falling, and we need to fulfill the need of paper, a lot of recycling plants have been established to recycle the used paper and to convert it into different usable products. Waste Paper recycling is an easy process, and the following points explain the paper recycling process step by step.

  • The paper from the recycling bins and garbage is taken to a recycling center where the other contaminants like glass, plastic, and other trash are removed.

  • After the removal of the contaminants, the paper is segregated into different grades.

  • Once the paper has been sorted into different grades, then it will be stored in bales until it is transferred to a mill for processing. 

  • At the mill, the paper is shredded into million small pieces. Then this mixture of paper along with water and chemicals is heated, and the pieces of paring are broken down into fibres.

  • After that, this mixture is pressed through a screen to get rid of the adhesives and other remaining contaminants.

  • Then the paper is spun into a cone-shaped cylinder that is used to clean the ink.

  • After that, the pulp is sent to a conveyor on which the water drips onto the belt, and the paper fibres start bonding.

  • Then the paper fibres are dried using the heated metal rollers.

  • Then the paper is put onto large rolls, which is used to make newer paper products.

Recycling of paper saves energy and also helps in conserving the environment as the waste paper is used to produce new products that save natural resources like trees, forests, and water. The recycling of paper also helps in reducing air, water, and land pollution as the emissions of harmful gases like methane are not a part of the recycling process, and thus the earth’s atmosphere is saved from being polluted more. The recycling of paper also helps in decomposing the biodegradable wastes and the hazardous wastes and converting them into useful products.

Paper is not the only product that can be recycled, plastics, glass, wood, metals, etc. can also be recycled to get rid of the waste and convert it into something useful and productive.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What do you mean by recycling paper? What are the benefits of recycling paper? What kind of paper can be recycled?

Answer: Recycling of paper means that the used paper is decomposed and recycled to form new paper products without exploiting the trees and forests. Paper recycling helps in reducing the need for raw materials, and it also consumes less energy and helps in reducing pollution as compared to producing new material from the virgin material. The paper that has not been contaminated with food or oil can be recycled. However, the paper towels and napkins are not recyclable and thus could be put into a compost to be decomposed in nature.

2. Can a paper piece be recycled indefinitely?

Answer: No, there is a limit as to how many times a piece of paper could be recycled. After each recycling process, the fibres of the paper get shorter. After about 5-6 recycle cycles of the same piece of paper, the fibres become too short to be bonded to form new paper. Therefore, the new fibres are added to replace the unusable fibres that are washed out during the recycling process. Thus, a single sheet of recycled paper may contain new fibres as well as the fibres that have been recycled several times.