Environmental impact of paper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Environmental impact of paper
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The environmental impact of paper is significant, which has led to changes in industry and behavior at both business and personal levels. With the use of modern technology such as the printing press and the highly mechanised harvesting of wood, disposable paper has become a cheap commodity. This has led to a high level of consumption and waste. With the rise in environmental awareness due to the lobbying by environmental organizations and with increased government regulation there is now a trend towards sustainability in the pulp and paper industry.

1 Issues 1.1 Deforestation 1.2 Air pollution 1.3 Water pollution 1.4 Waste 1.5 Wood pulping process 1.6 Chlorine and chlorine-based materials 1.7 Sulfur, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide 1.8 Non-renewable resources 2 Mitigation 2.1 Bleaching 2.2 Recycling 2.3 Mechanical pulp mills 3 Inks 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links
A pulp and paper mill in New Brunswick, Canada. Although pulp and paper manufacturing requires large amounts of energy, a portion of it comes from burning wood residue.



and releases well over 100 million kg of toxic pollution each year.11/6/13 Environmental impact of paper .[1] Even paper recycling can be a source of pollution due to the sludge produced during deinking.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_paper 2/10 . the free encyclopedia Issues The production and use of paper has a number of adverse effects on the environment which are known collectively as paper pollution.wikipedia.[6] Deforestation Main article: Deforestation Worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% in the past 40 years. the New Zealand government stopped the export of woodchips from native forests after campaigning by environmentalists. Pulp and paper is the third largest industrial polluter to air.[7] but is one of the most controversial issues. use and recycling/disposal of this enormous volume of material. so the environmental impact is also very significant.000 tons of paper and paperboard per year. Logging of old growth forests accounts for less than 10% of wood pulp. The pulp and paper industry uses more water to produce a ton of product than any other industry. is generally a monoculture and this raises concerns over the ecological effects of the practice. Plantation forest.[5] Worldwide.[8] In the 1990s. environmentally safe production.[4] so great efforts are needed to ensure that the environment is protected during the production. from where the majority of wood for pulping is obtained.Wikipedia.[9] Air pollution Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are all emitted during paper manufacturing. Discarded paper is a major component of many landfill sites. accounting for four percent of all the world's energy use. the pulp and paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy. water and land pollution. whereas CO2 is a greenhouse gas responsible for climate change.000. accounting for about 35 percent by weight of municipal solid waste (before recycling). water. Woodchipping to produce paper pulp is a contentious environmental issue in Australia. Pulp mills contribute to air. Nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide are major contributors of acid rain. and land in both Canada and the United States.[2] According to a Canadian citizens organization. "People need paper products and we need sustainable. en. with 35% of harvested trees being used for paper manufacture. It has been estimated that by 2020 paper mills will produce almost 500."[3] The amount of paper and paper products is enormous. Deforestation is often seen as a problem in developing countries but also occurs in the developed world.

wikipedia. down from over 90% in 1990. especially chemical pulps produced by the kraft process or sulfite process. It also contains alcohols.6 million tons of waste per year in the United States alone.[14][15] As a result.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_paper 3/10 .[10] Dioxins are persistent organic pollutants that are generally recognized among the most toxic human-released pollutants in existence.[10] Recycling the effluent (see black liquor) and burning it.Wikipedia. This has happened with the Tarawera River in New Zealand which subsequently became known as the "black drain". which adds up to 71.[13] Paper waste like other wastes faces the additional hazard of toxic inks. Discharges can also discolour the water leading to reduced aesthetics. Waste water may also be polluted with organochlorine compounds. Elemental chlorine has largely been replaced by chlorine dioxide and dioxin production very significantly reduced. Plants using elemental chlorine produced significant quantities of dioxins. transporting and burying and or reprocessing paper products. and chelating agents and inorganic materials like chlorates and transition metal compounds. Organic matter dissolved in fresh water. Paper recycling mitigates this impact. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus can cause or exacerbate eutrophication of fresh water bodies such as lakes and rivers. but not the environmental and economic impact of the energy consumed by manufacturing.11/6/13 Environmental impact of paper . but chlorine bleaching of the pulp produces far larger amounts. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) en.[11][12] Waste Paper waste accounts for up to 40% of total waste in the United States. Wood pulping process See also: Bleaching of wood pulp# Environmental considerations Chlorine and chlorine-based materials Chlorine and compounds of chlorine are used in the bleaching of wood pulp. and in worst case scenarios leads to death of all higher living organisms. Some of these are naturally occurring in the wood. changes ecological characteristics.[14] A study based on U. or comingled with groundwater via traditional burial methods such as modern landfills. In 2005. measured by Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD). with the remaining 5–6% using TCF. dyes and polymers that could be potentially carcinogenic when incinerated. from the 1990 onwards the use of elemental chlorine in the delignification process was substantially reduced and replaced with ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free) and TCF (Totally Chlorine Free) bleaching processes.S. the free encyclopedia Water pollution Waste water discharges for a pulp and paper mill contains solids. elemental chlorine was used in 19–20% of kraft pulp production globally. 75% of kraft pulp used ECF. using bioremediation ponds and employing less damaging agents in the pulping and bleaching processes can help reduce water pollution. nutrients and dissolved organic matter such as lignin.

On the one hand. there has been disagreement about the comparative environmental effects of ECF and TCF bleaching. comparing conventional. “TCF effluents are the least toxic”.[17] TCF bleaching.[19] On the other hand. bark and wood residues are often burned in a separate power boiler to generate steam. and other volatile sulfur compounds are the cause of the odor characteristic of pulp mills utilizing the kraft process. dimethyl sulfide. the free encyclopedia data concluded that "Studies of effluents from mills that use oxygen delignification and extended delignification to produce ECF (elemental chlorine free) and TCF pulps suggest that the environmental effects of these processes are low and similar. hydrogen sulfide. Sulfur is generally recovered. or "red liquor" from the sulfite process.[14] all markets with a high level of environmental awareness.11/6/13 Environmental impact of paper .[20] Sulfur.Wikipedia. independent peer-reviewed study has found that.[22] Additionally. but some is released as sulfur dioxide during combustion of black liquor.wikipedia. Air emissions of hydrogen sulfide. the average chlorinated organic compound emissions for ECF plants is 0. Other chemicals that are released into the air and water from most paper mills include the following:[23] carbon monoxide ammonia nitrogen oxide mercury nitrates en. including dioxins.[21] A modern kraft pulp mill is more than self-sufficient in its electrical generation and normally will provide a net flow of energy to the local electrical grid.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_paper 4/10 .000 tonnes of sulfur oxides (SOx) into the atmosphere. In 1999. While modern ECF plants can achieve chlorinated organic compounds (AOX) emissions of less than 0. dimethyl disulfide. TCF pulp represented 25% of the European market. ECF and TCF effluents before and after secondary treatment.05 kg per tonne of pulp produced. by removing chlorine from the process."[16] Most TCF pulp is produced in Sweden and Finland for sale in Germany. methyl mercaptan. Within the EU. and sulfur dioxide Main articles: Kraft process and Sulfite process Sulfur-based compounds are used in both the kraft process and the sulfite process for making wood pulp. Sulfur dioxide is of particular concern because it is water soluble and is a major cause of acid rain. with the exception of ammonia-based sulfite processes.[18] However. a byproduct of the kraft process.15 kg per tonne. reduces chlorinated organic compounds to background levels in pulp mill effluent. from effluent. most do not achieve this level of emissions.[16] ECF bleaching can substantially reduce but not fully eliminate chlorinated organic compounds. paper and chemical industryfunded studies have generally found that there is no environmental difference between ECF and TCF effluents. accounting for just over 4% of the total SOx emission from all Canadian industries. In 2006 the pulp and paper industry in Canada released about 60.

fish and shellfish. and the chemicals used (hydrogen peroxide and sodium dithionite) produce benign byproducts (water and. as evidenced by the formation of organizations like Greenpeace. en. However. Dioxins are highly toxic. eventually. as dioxins accumulate in the food chain in the fatty tissue of animals. chloroform. the free encyclopedia methanol benzene volatile organic compounds. ozone[27] and hydrogen peroxide and oxygen are used in bleaching sequences in the pulp industry to produce totally chlorine free (TCF) paper.[24] Environmental NGO pressure was especially intense on Swedish and Finnish pulp and paper companies. Peracetic acid.11/6/13 Environmental impact of paper .Wikipedia.wikipedia. influenced the pulping industry and governments to address the release of these materials into the environment. Mitigation Some of the effect of the pulp and paper industry can be addressed and there is some change towards sustainable practices. An increased public awareness of environmental issues from the 1970s and 1980s. dairy. primarily through the release of organic materials into waterways. They are known to be carcinogenic. including chlorinated dioxins.[10] Dioxins are recognized as a persistent environmental pollutant. Bleaching mechanical pulp is not a major cause for environmental concern since most of the organic material is retained in the pulp. Kaolin is the most commonly used clay for coated papers. the bleaching of chemical pulps has the potential to cause significant environmental damage. primarily meat. The use of wood solely from plantation forests address concerns about loss of old growth forests.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_paper 5/10 . Over 90% of human exposure is through food.[25] Conventional bleaching using elemental chlorine produces and releases into the environment large amounts of chlorinated organic compounds. Pulp mills are almost always located near large bodies of water because they require substantial quantities of water for their processes. respectively). developmental. sodium sulfate. immune and hormonal problems. and health effects on humans include reproductive. Bleaching The move to non-elemental chlorine for the bleaching process reduced the emission of the carcinogenic organochlorines. regulated internationally by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.[26] Non-renewable resources Clay or calcium carbonate are used as fillers for some papers.

wikipedia. but hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydrosulfite are the most common bleaching agents.[32] Waste paper awaiting recycling in the Netherlands.[28] Mill broke is paper trimmings and other paper scrap from the manufacture of paper.Wikipedia.[33] There is a trend toward using vegetable oils rather than petroleum oils in recent years due to a demand for better sustainability. and is recycled internally in a paper mill. Recycling paper decreases the demand for virgin pulp and thus reduces the overall amount of air and water pollution associated with paper manufacture.[30] The United States Environmental Protection Agency has found that recycling causes 35% less water pollution and 74% less air pollution than making virgin paper. Recycled pulp. and residential mixed paper.11/6/13 Environmental impact of paper . old telephone directories. en. Standards for the amount of heavy metals in ink have been set by some regulatory bodies. heavy metals and non-renewable oils. the free encyclopedia Recycling Main article: Paper recycling There are three categories of paper that can be used as feedstocks for making recycled paper: mill broke. and post-consumer waste. Inks Three main issues with the environmental impact of printing inks is the use of volatile organic compounds. or paper made from it." as opposed to bleached. Mechanical wood pulp is "brightened. Modern mills produce considerably less pollution than those of a few decades ago. Recycled pulp can be bleached with the same chemicals used to bleach virgin pulp. Mechanical pulp mills Main articles: Pulp mill and Bleaching mechanical pulps Wood pulp produced primarily by grinding wood is known as "mechanical pulp" and is used mainly for newsprint. Post-consumer waste is material discarded after consumer use such as old magazines.[29] One concern about recycling wood pulp paper is that the fibers are degraded with each and after being recycled four or five times the fibers become too short and weak to be useful in making paper. These mechanical processes use fewer chemicals than either kraft or sulfite mills. The primary source of pollution from these mills is organic material such as resin acids released from the wood when it is processed. Pre-consumer waste is material that was discarded before it was ready for consumer use.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_paper 6/10 . is known as PCF (process chlorine free) if no chlorine-containing compounds were used in the recycling process. pre-consumer waste. using less toxic chemicals than are needed for chemical pulps.[31] Pulp mills can be sources of both air and water pollution. especially if they are producing bleached pulp.

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University of Wisconsin Biotech Center. United States Environmental Protection Agency. ^ Tilman. Anna (2008).org/reports/technical/ecf2.org/issn/1176-9372) Check | i s s n =value (help) 13.who. 22. Erin. Retrieved 2008-05-07.cfm). "General Overview of What's In America's Trash" (http://www. Maria. Retrieved 2008-05-06.org/web/20061006094659/http://www. et al.rfu.pdf). ^ "Ozone and Color Removal" (http://www.htm). 21.aet. Johnson & Johnson.htm) on 2006-10-06.cgi?article=1005&context=iis). ^ Jeffries. ^ "Debunking the Myths of Recycled Paper" (http://web.htm).org/documents/1626_WP5.ec. Retrieved 2007-09-20. ^ "ECF and TCF: Toxicity An Analysis of Recent Published Data" (http://aet. 14. (1999).ebop.epa. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 18 (11): 2487– 2496. Retrieved 2007-02-04. BC. 5. en.com/Ozone_Color_Removal. "Environmental Comparison of Bleached Kraft Pulp Manufacturing Technologies.pdf).html). Prudential Insurance Company of America and Time Inc. Retrieved 2010-06-11." Environmental Politics 5: 687-699. 23. Stephen (February 2008). ISSN 1176-9372 (//www.eu/environment/ecolabel/ecolabelled_products/categories/pdf/tissue/backgroundtissue_may4. "Kraft pulping: Energy consumption and production" (http://www2. New Zealand). Berkeley). Retrieved 2007-10-26. 27.pdf). 24.wisc. ^ a b c "Frequently Asked Questions on Kraft Pulp Mills" (http://www. McDonald's. "Negotiating toxic risks: A case from the Nordic countries.pdf). Berkeley.pdf). 26.gc.com.org/cgi/viewcontent. ^ "ECF: The Sustainable Technology" (http://www. David A.cdlib. Ensis (Joint research of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/).CA: Institute of International Studies (University of California. Environmental Defense Fund. Australia and Scion. AND TOTALLY CHLORINE–FREE KRAFT-PULP BLEACHING EFFLUENTS ASSESSED BY SHORTTERM LETHAL AND SUBLETHAL BIOASSAYS". Comox.11/6/13 Environmental impact of paper . ^ Chlorine Free Products Association (Spring 1999).gov/osw/wycd/catbook/what.org/navigation/Librarydocs/CACW%20docs/Toxic%20story/Toxic%20Legacy.worldcat. 17. 2005-03-04. Environment Canada. Archived from the original (http://recyclingpoint. Recycling Point Dot Com.edu/jeffries/bioprocessing/pulping.sg/Articles/feb1992myth_of_recycledpaper.com. Tom (1997-03-27). 2010 work. ^ "Dioxins and their effects on human health" (http://www.html). 28.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_paper 8/10 . CFPA Today. Joint publication of Duke University." (http://www. ^ Auer.ozonesolutions. Alliance for Environmental Technology. 25.au/factsheets/BleachingByCSIRO.biotech.ca/pdb/cac/Emissions1990-2015/2006/2006_canada_e. "Pulp and Paper Pollution: The Toxic Legacy of Federal Neglect.gunnspulpmill. Matthew R. "Social Movements and Ecological Modernization: The Transformation of Pulp and Paper Manufacturing. 18. Retrieved 4 April 2012.europa. Berkeley Workshop on Environmental Politics.recyclingpoint.org/epp/brochure_0806. October 1994. ELEMENTAL CHLORINE–FREE. Paper: WP00-6Sonnenfeld" (http://repositories. ^ EPA (28 June 2006).Wikipedia. DC.sg/Articles/feb1992myth_of_recycledpaper.nz/air/media/pdf/0802%20Colour%20&%20Clarity%20in%20the%20Tarawera%20River%201991-2008.pdf) White paper no.pdf) Reach for Unbleached Foundation. "Colour and Clarity of the Tarawera River 1991-2008" (http://www.org/epp/ecf_brochure.archive. ^ Tarkpea. 16. ^ Sonnenfeld. The Alliance for Environmental Technology (International Association) joint research [1] (http://aet.environmentaldefense. ^ a b Paper Task Force (1995). 19." (http://www. World Health Organization. (1999).wikipedia. "TOXICITY OF CONVENTIONAL. the free encyclopedia 12. (1996). ^ Park. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 15. Revision of the Ecolabelling Criteria for Tissue Paper: Comments and background to the second draft proposal (http://ec. ^ Ad Hoc Working Group of European Commission (May 2006). ON and Washington.html). Ozone Information. 20.com. ^ "2006 Air Pollutant Emissions for Canada (Tonnes)" (http://www.govt.

^ "Recycle on the Go: Basic Information" (http://www.11/6/13 Environmental impact of paper . Retrieved 2007-10-30.htm). October 18. US Department of Energy.org/HeavyMetals.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Environment_and_Recycling/Recycling/Recycling_Resources/Recycling_Glossary.archive. November 2002. Life Cycle Assessment Forest Products Association of Canada. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Environment_and_Recycling/Recycling/Recycling_Resources/Recycl ing_Glossary.htm). Environmental Inspections and Emissions of the Pulp and Paper Industry: The Case of Quebec (http://ssrn.afandpa.Wikipedia. 35. Retrieved 2007-10-30.htm). ^ "Recycling Paper and Glass" (http://www. 32.epa.cfm).wasteonline. Michael P.gov/epaoswer/osw/conserve/onthego/info/index. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-30. Paul. September 2010 New Technologies en.PDF). ^ "Recycling glossary" (http://web.aspx) Further reading Case Studies Laplante. 33. ^ National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (http://www.eia. ^ http://www.org.fpac. 31.gov/compliance/resources/publications/assistance/sectors/notebooks/pulppasn. Montana State University.pdf).cpima.org/ifcext/enviro. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Pollution Prevention and Abatement Handbook. US Environmental Protection Agency.pdf 34.gov/kids/energyfacts/saving/recycling/solidwaste/paperandglass. April 1995.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/gui_pulp_WB/$FILE/pulp_PPAH.epa.pneac. Benoît and Rilstone.org/PublicArea/Printers/MetalsInk.ca/publications/FPACLCA%20White%20Paper_FINAL. Pulp and Paper Mill (http://www. July 1998. Retrieved October 20. ^ MacFadden. Industry Profile World Bank Group. Vogel (June 1996). September 2006. Printers' National Environmental Assistance Center.htm) on 2007-06-30.wikipedia.org/sheets/all/paper.uk/resources/InformationSheets/paper. Retrieved 2007-10-20.ifc.doe. ^ "Paper Recycling Information Sheet" (http://www.pdf). the free encyclopedia 29. Profile of the Pulp and Paper Industry 2nd Edition (http://www. 2007. Archived from the original (http://www.html). American Forest and Paper Association.napim.afandpa.org/web/20070630121336/http://www. 1447. Life Cycle Assessment and Forest Products:A White Paper (http://www. "Facts About Paper" (http://www. Todd. 30. Waste Online.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_paper 9/10 .com/abstract=620540).

By using this site. October 2010. en.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_paper 10/10 .gov/nsr/ghgdocs/pulpandpaper.wikipedia. External links Canopy | Ecopaper Database (http://www.canopyplanet. a non-profit organization. Available and Emerging Technologies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing Industry (http://www. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.epa.org/w/index.php) Retrieved from "http://en.org/EPD/index. the free encyclopedia United States Environmental Protection Agency.Wikipedia.php?title=Environmental_impact_of_paper&oldid=571837424" Categories: Environmental issues with paper Deforestation Paper recycling Environmental impact by source This page was last modified on 6 September 2013 at 22:02.pdf).. you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. additional terms may apply.wikipedia. Office of Air and Radiation. Inc.11/6/13 Environmental impact of paper .