Recycling Printing Knowledge

Paper recycling has become an increasingly important industry. Every year the percentage of paper that is recycled increases compared to the percentage that ends up in landfills. In fact, in 1993 and every year since, more paper has been recycled than ends up in landfills. The larger quantities of wastepaper available have helped to reduce the costs of recycling and provide a greater array of recycled paper and paper products.

The process begins with collection, which is still one of the most expensive aspects of paper recycling. Besides collecting, the collection process involves sorting the paper into categories, baling, and transporting the paper to a facility that will manufacture the wastepaper into pulp. The first step for the paper at one of the repulping facilities is to be put into large vats where it is soaked, reducing the paper into fibers. Reducing the paper into fibers process is known as repulping. When ink starts to separate from the fibers, chemicals are added to prevent the ink from reattaching to the paper fibers. The ink is then removed from the pulp in a deinking system, which is a series of screens that remove ink and additives. Then the pulp is cleaned several times with heat and chemicals, which removes additional ink. The pulp then enters a floatation device, where a chemical mixture containing calcium soap is introduced. Air bubbles form in this pulp and chemical mixture which cause any remaining ink to float to the surface where it can be skimmed away. After the deinking process, the pulp is ready to be manufactured into paper and related products the same as if it were pulp that had been freshly made from wood chips.


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