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Terry Doland, Owner
Thoughtful use of the earth's resources and protection of the environment may seem like an odd topic for a newsletter written by a printer. After all, printing requires paper, and the paper industry has been criticized for destruction of forests, water pollution and other anti-environment actions. Printed advertising mail is portrayed as a nuisance to those who receive it and cited for adding to landfills. Even e-mail messages are critical of print - you may have seen this tag line as part of an e-mail signature: Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.
Is printing really the environmental evil its critics assert? Should businesses and individuals adopt a policy of eliminating hard copies of documents and using only e-mail and digital media for sales and marketing outreach? Or are there other considerations that will allow businesses and organizations to continue to use printing and still be good environmental stewards?
Learn more about recycling and the environment
There are a couple different ways to remove ink from paper - by washing, by flotation, or a combination.
In the washing process, soaps are added to paper as it is being pulped. The ink dissolves in the water which then can be cleaned and re-used. Ink removed by flotation requires air to be passed through the paper pulp. This produces foam that captures the ink; the foam is then skimmed off.
Learn more about recycling paper
Acid-free paper: paper that has had the acid removed during manufacturing so it has a neutral pH. Acid-free paper is often used for documents that need to be archived.
Carbon sequestration: the process by which carbon is removed from the atmo- sphere and stored in soil, biomass, geological formations and the ocean.
Deforestation:the conversion of forests to other land uses including agriculture, cattle ranching, urbanization and other uses. Also called forest land-use change.
ECF/TCF papers: papers made from pulp that has been bleached using hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine. ECF = elemental chlorine free; TCF = totally chlorine free.
Forest conversion: the process of converting a natural forest to a cultivated forest. Typically accompanied by an increased focus on wood production.
Learn more recycling vocabulary
Recycling paper has become a popular worldwide - over 95 million metric tons of paper are recovered each year and made into recycled paper and paperboard. Recovered paper fiber makes up over one-third of the total fiber used to make the world's paper.
The United States is the world's leading paper recycler, responsible for over one-third of all the paper recovered in the world.
Learn more about paper recycling topics
Is printing bad for the environment? That's a question of real importance, both to you and us. It's important to our customers and prospects who are concerned about environmental issues, and it's important to us because printing provides our livelihood.
Although all paper can be recycled, some paper products may be rejected for recycling because of additives or processes on the paper.
One example is pressure sensitive adhesive. When added to paper to create peel-and-stick labels, the resulting product can't be recycled. This is because most paper recycling systems add water to recovered paper to create pulp - the first step in papermaking. Pressure sensitive labels don't dissolve in water. Instead, they break into smaller pieces that deform when subjected to heat and pressure. The deformed particles are hard to filter out of paper pulp and can stick to paper making equipment and even to the paper itself.
Learn more about how some paper can't be recycled