This document is courtesy of Unisource Canada, Inc. http://www.unisource.ca REFERENCE MATERIAL THE FACTS ABOUT RECYCLED PAPERS In November of 1988, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued guidelines to implement Section 6002 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act for purchasing paper and paper products containing recovered materials. The purpose is to stimulate demand for paper products made from material recovered from solid waste because "recycling" does not occur unless the recyclable materials collected are made into a product that is actually used. The circumstances stated above have brought on a new urgency around the world with regard to recycling paper. Our country's solid waste disposal problem is rapidly making our landfills scarce and disposal more costly. By specifying recycled content paper, we can make a positive contribution to the recovery of materials from the solid waste stream. However, it is not sufficient simply to quote a "recycled" content; the consumer should know the nature of the recycled fiber, its source, and the environmental impact of its processing. More than 40% of a landfill is comprised of paper and paperboard. While a majority of it is packaging and non-high grades, at least a quarter of it is paper that could have been made into recycled printing and writing paper. Surprisingly, office and residential paper take up twice the space (14% est.) in landfills as do newspapers (7% est.). SOURCES OF PAPER WASTE THAT CAN BE RECYCLED: Mill Internal waste generated from trimmings, butt rolls, or clippings from converting reels into small rolls and sheets. Converter and Printer Waste generated outside of a paper mill which is clean, white, and unprinted paper clippings (pulp substitutes) or de-inking grade waste named after the de-inking process required for its recovery. This includes scrap that is colored or inked clippings. End User Post Consumer Waste (PCW): paper products used and collected from offices, schools, and households. The key to recycling is post consumer waste. It is estimated that 60 million tons of PCW is going into our landfills, annually. Our paper mills are moving quickly to manufacture and market paper using recycled fibers. Amid this effort to recycle however, has emerged another issue - the semantics of what is recycled paper waste probes the whole issue of recycling itself. This document is courtesy of Unisource Canada, Inc. http://www.unisource.ca REFERENCE MATERIAL THE FACTS ABOUT RECYCLED PAPERS The problem is that the current EPA law defines recycled fiber as any fiber produced after cutting, slitting, or trimming of initial paper machine reel into small rolls that was once dry and is used again in the wet end of the paper making process. What this means to a paper mill is that it can now use many of its trimmings and other internal waste pulp that is always present in any efficient paper making process and now call it recycled. This gives every paper mill the capability to make a grade of paper and call it recycled. What this does not do is address the problem of post consumer waste or deinked grade levels of paper. The intent of the EPA guidelines is to encourage mills to use waste paper that is recovered from municipal solid waste streams. The term "recycled" largely implies post consumer waste paper. However, current Federal EPA guidelines do not require recycled printing and writing grades to contain post consumer waste paper. The paper guidelines recommend establishment of minimum recycled content standards and set forth recommended levels. EPA recommends that procuring agencies set their minimum recycled content levels no lower than the levels designated in their table called "EPA Recommended Minimum Content Standards of Selected Papers and Paper Products." In the case of printing and writing paper, a waste paper content of 50% is recommended; while for the newsprint, packaging, and paperboard categories a post consumer waste content is used as the standard (40%, 35%, and 80% respectively). Wet mill broke and forest residues are explicitly excluded from the definition of "recycled materials" because it is already routinely reused in the paper making process. In summary, paper is biodegradable, but it represents a significant amount of municipal waste (42% est.). Because the cost of trash removal is also significant, recycling waste paper for reuse in the paper making process makes good sense. According to EPA guidelines, waste paper would include both pre-consumer waste and post consumer waste, but not all mill broke. Useful Definitions Waste Papers Includes post consumer and manufacturing (pre-consumer) wastes. Paper waste generated after completion of the paper making process includes the following: post consumer materials (usually de-inked), envelope cuttings, text books, bindery trimmings, printing waste, cutting and converting waste, butt rolls and mill wrappers, obsolete inventories, and rejected unused stock. This document is courtesy of Unisource Canada, Inc. http://www.unisource.ca REFERENCE MATERIAL THE FACTS ABOUT RECYCLED PAPERS Pre-Consumer Waste Dry paper generated after completion of the paper making process but never reaching the consumer, i.e. butt rolls, rejected unused stock, envelope cuttings, bindery trimmings, paper waste resulting from printing. This waste can be mill broke or paper waste returned to the mill as pulp substitutes. Post Consumer Waste Recovered paper materials of those products generated by a business or consumer which have served their intended end uses, and which have been separated or diverted from solid waste for the purpose of collection, and recycling. These paper materials generally require de-inking before processing. Some examples are fibrous waste generated from retail stores, office, buildings, homes, etc., after they have passed through their end usage as a customer item such as office paper, direct mail, used corrugated boxes, old newspapers, and old magazines. Recycled Paper Paper made from pulp with varying percentages of waste paper and virgin wood fiber. Some desirable characteristics are more opacity, density, and flexibility or suppleness. In the case of cotton content paper (rag), the cotton linter content is considered recycled waste materials (shirt cuttings). Recyclable Paper Any paper separated at its point of discard or from the solid waste stream for utilization as a raw material in the manufacture of a new product and that can be de-inked. It is often called "waste paper." De-lnking The process, which removes inks, clays, coatings, binders and other contaminant’s from printing and converted waste paper. Printing and writing mills that can de-ink paper are currently limited in the U.S.A. This process does produce a liquid effluent with current technology. Likewise, primary and secondary sludge waste is generated but can be used on farmlands or marketed as compost. Mill Broke Any paper waste generated in a paper mill prior to completion of the paper making process. It is usually returned directly to the pulping process. Wet mill broke and forest residues are excluded from the definition of "waste paper" by EPA. Some states and municipalities may recognize this waste as acceptable in their standards for recycled papers. However, dry paper and paper bound waste, i.e., those waste materials of the manufacturing operations up to and including the cutting and trimming of the paper machine into smaller rolls are considered mill broke and currently considered recycled fiber by the EPA. Many mills do, in fact, count their mill broke to meet the minimum 50% EPA guidelines. This document is courtesy of Unisource Canada, Inc. http://www.unisource.ca REFERENCE MATERIAL THE FACTS ABOUT RECYCLED PAPERS Solid Waste Waste material disposed of in essentially their original form by burial, land-fill and sometimes incineration. Over 40% of solid waste is paper and it is estimated that 14% of this is fine printing and writing grades, and probably at least a quarter of this could be recycled into fine paper. Virgin Fiber Non-recycled fiber, which is derived from wood chips after the pulping process. Office Fiber Post cons umer fiber containing toner, which cannot be removed and is not de-inked fiber. Post Industrial Fiber Trimmings from converting operations.