What is recycled paper?
Recycled paper can have several meanings, but the most consistent definition is derived from our federal government’s guidelines. Almost all state and local government and business procurement specifications now reference the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines on recycled paper. The EPA guidelines require a minimum of 30% post-consumer content for uncoated printing and writing paper, and a minimum of 10% post-consumer content for coated papers. Other forms of paper, such as newsprint, corrugated packaging, tissue, and others, also require post-consumer content. The EPA doesn’t consider mill broke, the unprinted trimming and converting scrap from paper mills themselves, recycled content.

What is pre-consumer waste?
Pre-consumer materials are those that have not met their intended end-use by a consumer and include allowable waste left over from manufacturing, converting, and printing processes. Examples: mill-converting scraps, pre-consumer deinking material, pulp substitutes. Magazines and newspapers that were never bought also are termed pre-consumer.

What is deinked pre-consumer waste?
This paper has been printed but not used by consumers, such as waste from printers and unsold magazines and publications. It is processed like post- consumer waste and is deinked for reuse.

What is post-consumer waste?
This is paper that has already been used and returned through a recycling program, thereby diverting it from a landfill or incinerator. It is usually deinked and then processed to make new paper. Office paper waste makes up the majority of post-consumer waste content that is used to make recycled copy and printing papers.

How is recycled paper made?
Recycled paper, either pre or post-consumer materials needs to be washed and is often deinked prior to being pulped. The pulp goes through a bleaching process to make it whiter. There are many bleaching processes; New Leaf Paper chooses a processed chlorine free process. Once the pulp is bleached, it enters a series of phases including the following: the paper forming section; the press section where water is removed by pressing the wet paper between rolls and felts; and the drying section where the moisture content is reduced to the desired level; and the calendering section where the paper is compacted and smoothed progressively as it travels down a stack of steel rolls. Once completed the paper is stored in either rolls or cut into sheets.

What is deinking?
The deinking process removes applied inks, finishes, glues, and other contaminants from wastepaper in order to extract the cellulose fiber. Typically this requires extensive processing through a variety of pulping, screening, cleaning, washing, and/or floatation equipment.


Recycling Links

Conservatree Master Paper List

Markets Initiative Eco Paper Database


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