Paper is one of the most recyclable materials we use regularly. A staple for hundreds of years in businesses across the globe, paper is a requirement for staying productive. It’s easy to recycle paper, and even becoming simple to use recycled paper in your printer.
How Paper is Recycled
Here’s a simple overview of how paper is recycled. It’s a fascinating process that reduces our global environmental footprint.
- Sorting and shredding. Before paper can be recycled, it must be sorted by type and then shredded into fine strips. In essence, paper goes from your recycling bin to a recycling facility and is then broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
- De-inking. Any ink on paper must be removed before the paper can be reconstituted and reused. There are two different processes generally used to de-ink paper. The first is called floatation de-inking, and works by putting paper in a mixture of water and chemicals. The chemicals used adhere to the ink and then float to the top, bringing the ink along with it. The second process is called the washing process and employs a wire screen to catch ink, minerals, and other elements attached to the paper. Generally, this method is used when there isn’t much ink attached to the paper.
- Bleaching. After the paper is de-inked, it is bleached to return it to a bright white color.
- New paper! Once the pulp is bleach, it is reconstituted into paper by pressing and drying it. Viola—new paper!
If you’re interested in learning how to make your company more environmentally friendly, contact us today.