How is Paper Recycled?


Paper recycling involves mixing the already used paper with chemicals and water to break it down. The paper is cut into smaller pieces then super-heated. Heating breaks it into strands of cellulose, which is a type of organic plant material. The resulting material which is the mixture of water chopped paper and chemicals is called pulp or slurry.

Paper Recycling

paper recycling process involves major steps, which involves, collection of the waste paper up to the end product, that is a clean paper. These processes include, collection of waste paper, transportation, sorting, and processing it into usable raw material. The raw material which is the slurry is used in making of new paper.

Paper Collection

Already used papers are collected from waste bins either in the cities or dump sites, they are then deposited in big containers known as recycling containers. At this stage collected papers are put into a single main container.

Transporting the paper

Once all the waste has been collected from the damp sites and pilled in a major container, they are transported to the paper recycling plant. transportation is done by a collection van or track which move the containers to the paper recycling plant.

Sorting the Paper For Recycling

Once the waste paper reaches the recycling paper plant, the waste paper is sorted into different categories; newspapers, magazine paper, computer paper, news prints, card board. Sorting of paper is important to be able to separate waste paper and treat it differently during the paper recycling stages, this is done so as to produce different types of recycled paper products.

Turning the Waste Paper into Usable Raw Material

This is a major step in the paper recycling process. During this stage the waste paper undergoes a calculated procedure. Which include several major processes:

Making Slurry or Pulp

The pulping process includes the mixing of chemicals and water. For you to get the right slurry mixture, the waste paper is chopped using a machine to chop the waste paper into fine pieces this is done before adding water and the appropriate chemicals. The mixture of water, chemical and chopped waste paper is super-heated. This is done to break it into paper into fibres fast. the mixture eventually turn into a mushy mix; this mixture is referred to as a slurry or pulp.

Cleaning and Screening of the Pulp

This process is done to remove any form of uncleanness from the pulp. The pulp is forced through some screens. the screens have different hole sizes and shapes. The pulp is passed through the screens to get rid of contaminants such as globe of glue and plastics bits that might be present in the slurry. In case the slurry has more contaminants such as staples. The slurry has to be turned around in a cone shaped cylinders.

In the cylinders the heavy contaminators are thrown out of the cylinders using centripetal force. the light contaminators are moved to the Centre of the cone and are gotten rid from the slurry.

Deinking the Paper Fibre

After the steps of cleaning and screening, deinking has to be done to the paper fibre. This involves removing the ink from paper fibres of the slurry. All the sticky material mostly known as adhesives, glue residues at this stage they are also separated. Deinking is achieved through mechanical action combinations. Mainly it involves (shredding and the addition of chemicals). small and light ink particles are removed using water while the larger and heavier ink particles are gotten rid using air bubbles in a chemical process known as flotation.

Refining, colour stripping and bleaching

After the paper fibres in the form of slurry is di-inked, the slurry undergoes refining. In the refining stage, the paper pulp is beaten until the fibres swell. The beating is also responsible for separating fibres into individual fibres. It’s important to facilitate new paper production from separated fibres. In case colouring is required; colour stripping chemicals are added at this stage too to get rid of the dyes from the paper. During the process of colouring, brown papers are obtained. When the objective is to produce white recycled paper, the pulp is usually bleached using oxygen, chlorine dioxide, or hydrogen peroxide which usually makes them brighter or white.

New Paper Making

This is usually the final stage during the process of paper recycling. The cleaned paper slurry is then ready to be used in paper production of new paper. At this stage, the pulp is usually mixed with virgin wood fibres – this is done to provide the new paper with smoothness and strength. Paper fibres can be used alone at times meaning it’s not necessary to add the virgin fibre

During this step, the paper pulp is mixed with hot water and appropriate chemicals, hot water percentage in the mixture is far higher than the paper fibres and chemicals. The mixture is fed to a head box used in paper making machine. The pulp is sprayed in a continuous jet into a large wire mesh- like a screen. The screen moves at a very high speed in the machine. Once the water starts draining out, the recycled paper fibres start bonding together forming a watery sheet. The sheet moves through a continuous felt cover press rollers. The rollers compress out more water from the paper pulp sheet and the sheet eventually comes out as a freshly manufactured paper.

Dissolved Water Flotation

The water squeezed out is cleaned for reusing purposes within the plant. this is important to conserve water.

Waste Disposal

The usable material that is a waste product in the paper recycling process includes the plastics, filler fibres, ink and staple materials and is referred to as sludge. Sludge is usually buried in a landfill, or sometimes it’s burned to create energy at the paper mill and sometimes local farmers use it as fertiliser.


How is Paper Manufactured?


Paper, the evergreen in the Worlds necessities for as long as we can remember. A medium of knowledge, poetry, hidden conversations carrying the most of human recorded history. We use it in our everyday lives more than almost anything else. It is an everlasting human invention that is widely used even today alongside developed technologies and computers we use, still the first thing we reach out for when trying to make a quick note on something or just waste time and doodle.

How is our paper manufactured? Although we know about Egyptians and papyrus, first ever recorded evidence of paper manufacturing as we know it today comes from ancient China some 2000 years ago. Although very little has changed over the years in paper manufacturing, modern technologies describe somewhat different process.

From Plantations to Mills

Although new technologies in manufacturing are being discovered and used one might think we’ve started using different kinds of paper manufacturing material. But, would you believe it? Your everyday paper is still produced and comes from same old raw material as it ever did – trees. Even the manufacturing process itself is pretty much the same, except today it is being modernised and we’ve managed to recycle old used paper in the process of manufacturing new.

However, mostly used material for precious cellulose are still tree trunks. Modern day paper manufacturers grow their own paper tree plantations. Most common trees for paper manufacturing these days are still pretty much the same as always and these are usually pine, birch, eucalyptus and conifer.

The process of paper manufacturing starts at these plantations or woods with trees being felled and transported to factories. Trees arrive at mills where they are finely cut and debarked. Debarked logs are then cut into small pieces/wood chips. Bark isn’t usually used in the paper making process, instead it’s being used as a fuel/energy resource.

Next step in the line is so called chemical pulping. Small wood pieces are being cooked, thus burning unnecessary lignin and other organic materials that cannot be used in the process of paper manufacturing. Once the wood is cooked it undergoes mechanical pulping which blends wood chips into paper fibre. At this point fibres resemble a soaking mush of paper, but still we’re not there just yet. After that the bleaching of fibres starts. Bleaching is what makes our paper appear in familiar white colour. Fibres of are then washed once again and dried forming a watery substance called pulp that is ready to get converted into paper. Usually some other ingredients are added to the fibre such as glue or even cotton fibre.

The watery mass is afterwards lined onto large machines where process of drying begins leaving fibres strongly bind resulting in a rough sheet of yet unprocessed paper. This is where our so much needed every day writing resource first comes to life still in form of watery web sheets, fragile and prone to tearing. These sheets are then sent through a series of mechanical processes including series of drying cylinders with high pressure that further dry out the mass and press the sheets all together leaving clean, brand new slits of paper. These slits are then pushed further onto machine called calendar. This

Machine ensures that paper is evenly thick and ready for the next phase of our paper manufacturing process- coating and colouring. Paper is then pushed once more, through series of cylinders where it is being sprayed with colour and coating film giving paper its final shine.

Finally, we come to the finishing process where paper is being rolled onto reels. These massive reels of paper are then fed to the cutting machine that cuts paper into an even white sheets of papery goodness being ready to be transported to warehouses. In those warehouses pallets and roles of paper sheets are then carefully wrapped up.

Paper manufacturing process finishes in paper ready to start its sole purpose journey. Journey ultimately leading it to us. Helping us make imprint of our everyday situations, memories and existence on this earth, but often not giving it a single thought about the hard and dreary process our omnipresent friend went through to be there just when we need it.

Specialty Papers

photographic paper

There are lots of different specialty papers in use today. Photographic papers qualify as specialty papers, given that they are fairly streamlined in terms of their purpose. Specialty papers are common for photographers and a lot of other artists. The light-sensitive chemical formula used to coat the papers reacts with the chemicals used for processing photographs producing some very high quality prints.

A lot of photographers swear that the quality of the picture is better for the people who use photographic papers and who create the prints themselves. The photographic papers are layered with a sort of chemical that is sensitive to light, and this is what allows the photographic papers to work as well as they do for so many people.

Artists will use certain types of paper for sketches, certain types for watercolours, and other types of paper for almost all of the other types of media that people will usually imagine. Even different pencils require different types of paper in many cases.

Certain professionals use specialty papers. Graphing paper is common for engineers and architects, for instance, even in a world where they do a lot of their work digitally. Other professionals are going to have their own special paper that is made in order to conform to specific requirements, and few other people will use these niche pieces of paper.

Paper Finishes

paper supplies

There are lots of different types of paper finishes within the coated variety rather than the un-coated variety. Un-coated papers are typically the ones that people write things on as opposed to the ones that are used in printing. Coating and finishes are often going to be the same thing and they are often going to be grouped in the same way, which is going to make a difference for a lot of people.

Coated papers come in many different varieties, including silks, mattes, glosses, and watermarked papers.

Gloss coating is one of the most popular of all of the different types of coating. However, some people have a problem with the glare from the gloss coating. Paper like this will typically be very soft and shiny, and this might be a problem for some applications.

Matte finishes are similar compared to gloss finishes, but they are rougher than what you would get with gloss finishes.

Lots of people like the silk finish because of how it feels to the touch. Silk finishes will tend to add a touch of class, style, and luxury to a lot of different printed publications.

Recycled paper can have coating and finishes or no coating and no finishes. Recycled paper is made from the wood pulp of previously used paper, and a lot of people will use it in order to conserve the natural resources that are used in this category. Recycled paper often seems similar to its counterparts, although it might have a somewhat thinner or rougher look.

Vellum these days typically refers to the synthetic parchment and not the stuff that is actually made from the skins of cows, which would have been the case historically. Paper vellum is an alternative to the vellum of old. It is synthetic and it is made from plasticised cotton as opposed to the skin of calves. Vellum paper is parchment, and it tends to be used for things like graduation certificates and a lot of other really formal documents.

Most high-quality writing paper will be bond paper, since bond paper is typically going to be a lot thicker than some of the other forms of paper that people can purchase today.

The paper finishes are all really important and they can have a huge effect on the actual use of paper, because they have such a huge effect on the texture and the quality of the paper in general.

Paper Weights and Materials

paper weights

Paper is made from wood fibre originally from sawmills, recycled cloth, vegetable matter, and recycled newspaper. Different types of cellulose fibres from different types of wood are used in the production of paper in many cases.

While a lot of people go out of their way to make sure that they use recycled paper and this is certainly a good thing, it should be noted that many of the materials that are used to make paper in the first place are recycled. The paper that is made entirely from pure wood pulp is called virgin paper, and it is rarer than a lot of people think. A lot of paper is made from discarded paper material or recycled boards.

Paper Weights

Paper weight is measured in grams – the grammage is a measure of the thickness of the paper. For instance, paper that might have a weight at the 140lb index level will have a grammage of 255 gsm. Paper that has a higher index level can actually be thinner in some cases than paper that has a lower index level. A higher grammage level is going to mean that the paper type in question is going to be heavier and thicker.