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Recycling of Paper

Last updated date: 28th Feb 2024
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Waste Paper

Paper is a solid two-dimensional substance. This is found in every single thing from covering material to mail to office supplies. In the municipal solid waste stream, it makes up the largest percentage composition. Today, 90% of paper pulp is created from wood. The paper production process accounts  for about 35% of felled trees. Paper production represents 1.2% of the world's total economic output. Paper is a material that is made up of plant cellulose and plant pulp. It becomes waste when discarded. Paper can be used for different purposes like for office, toilet paper, napkins, and towel.

Waste Paper Recycling

The process of turning waste paper into new paper or product is known as recycling of paper. Recycling includes the collection, sorting, marketing, and processing, of materials from the solid waste stream. Process of recycling waste paper carried out in a paper recycling plant. In the paper recycling plant various paper recycling machines have been set up. Steps carried out in paper recycling machine are:

  • The first step includes the mixing up of the old papers with lytic substances like water and chemicals to break them down easily into a smaller fraction.

  • It is further broken down into a strand of cellulose with the help of heating.

  • The mixture obtained by the above process is called slurry or pulp.

  • Now, this above-produced slurry is strained through the screens, this process of straining removes the glue or plastic that may still be in the mixture then washed, “de-inked,” bleached, and mixed with water.

  • Then it can be made into new paper.

  • The same fibres can be reprocessed or recycled around seven times, but they get shorter every time and eventually are strained out.

Five R Principle

There is the “Five  R principle” that focuses on the maintenance and the cleanliness of the environment and place.

  • Refuse- This is the first and most effective strategy to minimize waste. Refusing to buy wasteful or non-recyclable products can minimize a lot of waste production and energy wastage.

  • Reduce- In this step, we need to reduce the purchase and use of non-recyclable paper and use eco-friendly paper in place of it. 

  • Reuse- Avoid the use of single-use paper.

  • Repurpose- Every item that can't be refused, reduced, or reused, we can try repurposing it.

  • Recycle- Last but definitely not least step. It is a cost-effective method to save the environment from the harmful effects of waste.

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Recycled Paper Products

  • Paper, cardboard and paperboard for packaging.

  • Sanitary paper.

  • Special paper.

  • Graphic paper.

  • Newsprint and magazines.

  • Office paper

  • Mixed paper

Did You Know?

  • Almost all types of paper are biodegradable in nature. As they are made up of wood pulp.

  • In the United States, paper and paper products form about 35% of municipal solid waste by weight.

  • The transportation of Waste paper is predominantly done by pressing it into bales and strapping it with wire. In the same way, paper can be stored well.

FAQs on Recycling of Paper

1. Are All Types of Papers Biodegradable?

Answer: yes, almost all types of paper are biodegradable in nature, as they are made up of wood pulp.

2. What is the 5 R Principle?

Answer: The “Five  R principle” focuses and maintains the environment and place clean. It involves five steps:

  • Refuse

  • Reduce

  • Reuse

  • Repurpose

  • Recycle