Author: Chris Philpot
Does your workplace use recycled copy paper? Where does that paper come from? Is it contributing to the Australian economy and keeping paper out of landfill? If your work is using high recycled content paper, congratulations! If not, take a few minutes to find out about a new recycling plant that makes it easier than ever to have a positive local impact.
Copy paper is ubiquitous in the average office, so choosing a product with both good performance and environmental outcomes is important. Achieving this has been made easier with the recent launch of Australian Paper's $90 million de-inking and recycling facility in Victoria's Latrobe Valley. The plant is the only one of its kind in Australia.
The plant will process 80,000 tonnes of waste paper into the equivalent of 6 billion sheets of A4 office paper every year. To put that into perspective, it's enough to fill a tennis court twice the height of Melbourne's Eureka Tower.
Before the plant was launched in April, waste paper from Australia was exported overseas where it was pulped and then returned to Australia for manufacturing. Now the entire recycling process takes place at the Maryvale Mill.
The process begins with bales of collected paper, which are filtered of debris (like staples), then cleaned and de-inked. De-inking involves pulping the paper fibre and injecting bubbles into the water, which picks up the ink and floats it to the top of the tank where it is then sucked up and removed. The great news for recycling is that even the waste from the de-inker is re-used as soil conditioner or potting mix.
Ironically, even the recycling mill itself has been recycled. Australian Paper purchased the mill, packed it up, moved it to its current location and reassembled (and improved) it.
The plant has created green jobs at a time when there has been a decline in Australian manufacturing in other areas. The construction phase of the plant supported almost 1,000 jobs and the ongoing operation will provide flow-on employment for 250 people, mostly in the local manufacturing and wastepaper collection industries.
Now is the time to make the switch to Australian made high-recycled content copy paper like Reflex 50% and above.
If you don't know already, find out what type of paper you're using. If you're responsible for purchasing it then make the switch. If someone else is responsible, share this story with them.
Find out more about Reflex 100% recycled paper and make a difference or visit http://planetark.org/campaigns/make-it-recycled.cfm for more information.