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Contaminants in Recycled Paper - Essay Example
Pages 6 (1506 words)
Each year in the United States, Americans use more than 67 billion tons of paper. Paper products make up 40 percent of our waste. (Recycling Facts n.d.) Recycling is a necessity in this situation, as it is a proven benefit to the environment and the long-term future of society…
Grades A and B represent the virtually 100 percent of paper mill waste that is recycled a back into the milling process. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies mill broke (Grade A) as the scraps that are recovered during the paper-making process. (Conservatree 2007, Environmental Definitions) The mills can recycle this at almost zero cost. It is also in the mills' best interest to recycle and re-pulp the unprinted waste (Grade B), as it costs about half of what it costs to recycle post-consumer waste. These two highest grades of recycled paper are both cost-effective and free of contaminants, as it is waste created only by the product production. (Conservatree 2007, Making Paper)
Post-consumer waste is where we find both a greater need for recycling and a high risk of contaminants. Depending on their use, these consumer-used products come back to the recycling plants in various forms, such as envelopes, office paper, newspaper, and magazines, and these forms are often full of contaminants. ...
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