The Green Paper Making Process

25 06 2014

Paper has been a part of the human culture for generations since the Chinese invented it in 105 AD. Paper became a highly demanded commodity in 1453 with the invention of the printing press. The materials used to create it included linen and old cotton. These soon fell out of style as there were not enough raw materials to sustain the growing demand. It was not until 1719 that paper was first made out of wood pulp. Then, with the invention of a machine that created sheets of paper in 1806, modern paper-making finally came into existence. Being unsatisfied with the constant need to abuse natural resources, a recycled paper making process was created. The following steps is how Green Printer describes this process.

Step 1: Collect the Paper
Clean paper (free from food and other contaminates) is collected by a recycling company and transported to the local recycling center. Once there, the paper is sorted, wrapped tightly in large bales, and shipped to a paper mill where it can be processed and turned into new paper. When it arrives, the paper is sorted into stacks of the types of things in can make (such as cardboard or newspaper). 

Step 2: Pulp the Paper
When it is time to process the paper, it is loaded onto a conveyor belt that moves it to a machine known as a pulper. This pulper cuts the paper into tiny pieces, mixes it with a combination of water and chemicals, and heats the mixture in order to break down the solid matter into bits known as fiber. This mixture is called pulp. The pulp is filtered through screens to remove tiny bits of contaminants like glue.

Step 3: Wash the Paper
Now that pulp is fully processed, the recycling center washes or deinks the paper. This generally involves spinning the pulp in a cylinder to separate out staples and other debris. The pulp is then rinsed with water to wash out the final pieces of unwanted material.

Step 4: Beat the Paper
Final refinement happens when the pulp undergoes beating to cause the fibers to swell, making them ideal for the final step in making paper. If the paper needs to be white or colored, the bleach or dye is added during this step.

Step 5: Produce the Paper
The now clean pulp mixture is sprayed onto a large screen and moved through machines that press out all water, leaving nothing but new sheets of recycled paper.