Paper is a sheet of fibers with a number of added chemicals that affect the properties and quality of the sheet. Besides fibers and chemicals, manufacturing of pulp and paper requires a large amount of process water and energy in the form of steam and electric power.
Consequently, the main environmental issues associated with pulp and paper production are emissions to water, emissions to air, and energy consumption. Waste is a gradually increasing environmental issue of concern
.Paper production typically involves the following steps:
• Producing and acquiring fiber
• Chemically or mechanically processing the fiber into pulp
• Running the pulp through a paper machine to create large rolls of paper
The papermaking process is complex and has far-reaching environmental impacts beyond the simple paper production process, which itself is toxic, resource intensive, and uses chemicals and pollutants that are creating major health issues and environmental degradation.
Due to the environmental impacts the common vision goal for paper mills should be the elimination of paper manufactured solely of virgin fiber recognizes that recycled fiber is the foundation for environmentally sustainable paper and paper products.
No matter what the source of the virgin fiber, environmental benefits are maximized when it can be reused repeatedly rather than requiring new raw resources for every production cycle. Not only does recycling reduce demand for wood fibers, it also generates many other significant environmental benefits as well.
Over the centuries, paper has been made from a wide variety of materials such as cotton, wheat straw, sugar cane waste, flax, bamboo, wood, linen rags, and hemp.
The earliest paper was papyrus, made from reeds by the ancient Egyptians. Paper was made by the Chinese in the second century, probably by a Chinese court official named Cai Lun. His paper was made from such things as tree bark and old...