Paper Recycling: Challenges and Opportunities in a Paper Remanufacturing Process
Paper is one of the most recycled materials globally today. Producing paper with recycled fibers consumes 30-70% less energy and emits less greenhouse gas than using virgin (fresh-cut) wood. However, with current paper recovery practice, more foreign matters are commingled with the recycled paper which include plastic films, metal foils, glass debris, and food residues. In addition, more and more additives are added to the current papermaking or converting process such as inorganic fillers, starch, wet-strength polymers, wax and coating materials, which will become “contaminants” in the paper remanufacturing. Contaminants in recycled paper not only make the paper remanufacturing process more costly but also affect the quality of the paper remanufactured.
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