Paper waste accounts for around 40% of municipal solid waste (MSW), making it the most commonly discarded item. Although paper waste is biodegradable, recycling improves the urban solid waste management scheme. Paper recycling is a straightforward procedure for recovering waste paper from municipal solid waste and turning it into fresh paper items.
Pre-Consumer Waste & Post Consumer Waste
A material that is not generated in a paper mill is known as pre-consumer waste. It is a form of waste that has been discarded before it is suitable for commercial use. Old corrugated containers (OCC), old books, old newspapers (ONP), and other post-consumer waste materials are examples of post-consumer waste.
Newspapers, shredded sheets, phonebooks, cardboard, magazines, computer paper, envelopes, junk mail, and construction paper are all recyclable paper materials.
Millions of new paper items are made from recycled cardboard and other paper products, such as egg cartons, tissue, toilet paper, newspaper, paper bags, notebooks, stamps, business cards, and calendars.
Paper recycling has its own set of limits. Paper can contain a wide range of inorganic and organic constituents, including up to 10,000 separate chemicals, which could contaminate newly produced paper products. As an example, Bisphenol (a chemical typically used in thermal paper) has been identified as a contaminant in many recycled paper materials, for example. While several steps (e.g., improved decontamination, optimized paper collection for recycling) can minimize the chemical load of paper recycling, even entirely ceasing the use of a chemical (phase-out) can still result in its distribution in the paper cycle for decades.
There are 5 basic paper grade categories:
- Old Corrugated Containers(boxing and packaging)
- Mix Paper(phone books, magazines)
- Old Newspapers
- De-inked Paper(envelopes, letterheads)
- Pulp substitutes(discarded scraps from mills)
- Steps To Recycle Paper
- Paper from the bin is collected and placed in a big recycling container of paper from other recycling bins.
- The paper is taken to a recycling facility and classified into different types and grades.
- To strip inks, plastic tape, staples, and glue, the separated paper is washed in soapy water. The paper is placed in a large container and combined with water to form a slurry.
- Different paper items, such as cardboard, newsprints, and office paper, can be made by adding different materials to the slurry.
- Large rollers are used to scatter the slurry into large, thin sheets.
- After drying, the paper is folded up and ready to be sliced and taken to the stores.