In the past, the manufacturing industry was known for its efficiency. As an industry pursued greater production scale, papermaking was no different. Today, however, there is also an emphasis on industrial environmental responsibility and alleviating societal problems. Apart from satisfying consumer demand for paper, the papermaking industry has also been contributing to society by insisting on sourcing raw materials from man-made forests and reusing recycled paper, helping to capture and reduce carbon while putting resource recycling and closed-loop recycling into practice.

Protecting the Source

The main raw materials for making paper are virgin pulp and recovered pulp. In terms of virgin pulp, Taiwanese paper mills insist on procurements from man-made forests as well as responsibly managed certified pulp (FSC, PEFC), actively protecting tropical rainforests and virgin forests, maintaining ecological balance, and holding fast to an eco-friendly, green philosophy.

On the other hand, sources of recovered pulp include wheat straw and recovered paper. These materials are put through various process such as pulping, screening, refining and molding to create different types of paper products, providing a prime example of natural resource recycling.

Stressing classification

Each year, Taiwan’s papermaking industry requires around 4 million metric tons of recycled paper, of which about 2.7 million metric tons is first acquired domestically, with the remainder bridged by foreign imports. With a utilization rate exceeding 90%, Taiwan’s paper mills have reached the standards of advanced countries, not only reducing the use of virgin pulp from man-made forests but also alleviating the local problems of incinerating unwanted recovered paper and carbon dioxide emissions.

In recent years, paper mills have actively sought to educate recovered paper suppliers on correct recycling classification methods while strictly enforcing acquisition rules relating to other acceptable paper, prohibited materials, outthrows, and water content. Only through correct classification and separating materials for different uses will recycling efficiency be improved. At the same time, this will also reduce waste and emissions, creating value for the circular economy.