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Paper Recycling May 16, 2019 08:30:41 AM

New Study Highlights Superior Environmental Benefits of Non-Recycled Paper

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The study also highlights the importance of fresh fibers in maintaining efficient paper recycling system.
New Study Highlights Superior Environmental Benefits of Non-Recycled Paper

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The new life cycle study conducted by Stockholm, Sweden-based IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has found that paper from fresh fibres has lower environmental impact than paper from recycled fibres.

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study compared paper produced from 100% fresh fibre at Swedish Holmen Paper with paper produced from recycled fibre at German production facilities. Contrary to general belief that recycled paper is better for climate, the study proved that paper based on fresh paper has lower environmental impact than recycled paper.

According to the study, it requires more energy to produce paper from fresh wood sources than from recycled resources. However, if wood sources are replaced with low-emission renewable energy sources, the environmental impacts can be reduced significantly. One of the most important conclusions from the study is that electricity mix is of substantial importance for the result. Incidentally, Swedish electricity mix has a lower environmental impact compared to the German.

The study also highlights the importance of fresh fibers in maintaining efficient paper recycling system. It noted that cellulose fibres in paper cannot be recycled for more than 5 to 7 times, after which the fibre quality deteriorates, making them unable to be used in producing paper. In such circumstances, addition of fresh fibre becomes inevitable, thus making it an essential prerequisite for recycled paper.

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