The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 3, Number 1
Mar 1990


The Growing Demand for Recycled and Alkaline Paper

This is an update of the 64-page "Report on the State of Recycled Paper and Permanent Paper," prepared in October 1989 by Bill Turney for the government of New Brunswick. Mr. Turney is Project Coordinator, Communications Division, Supply and Services, New Brunswick, PO Box 6000, Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5Hl, Canada. This update describes the situation as of February 6, 1990.

As we enter this new decade of the 1990s, the paper industry in Canada is undergoing phenomenal change, perhaps the most dramatic since the introduction of mechanical wood-pulp as the main source of fiber in the middle of the last century. This is being brought about by public demand that the industry become better stewards of our natural resources, recycle where possible and improve the environment by discharging fewer pollutants into the air and water, as well as by economic pressures brought on by the pulp shortage-

Vivian Proulx, one of four product managers for Domtar, Inc., in Montreal, put it this way in a telephone interview an January 30, 1990, "I have never seen changes occurring so fast in the paper industry as they are at present. Domtar is moving, but so is the entire paper manufacturing sector."

Three months ago, there were only two companies in Canada producing premium grades of office paper from recycled post-consumer waste, Fraser Inc. at its Thorold, Ontario mill, and Cascades Inc., at some of its operations in Quebec. Now there are at least five. The Fraser Mill in Thorold has been renamed Noranda Forest Recycled Papers, and is undergoing a major expansion. Cascades is producing a greater variety of premium grades and its deinking facility at Breakeyville, Quebec, is serving other paper manufacturers as well. Domtar is making fine grades of paper at its mill in St. Catherines, Ontario, from 100%. post-consumer waste. The product is bond stock and it is non deinked. Rolland Inc. is now producing premium grade; o-f paper from recycled fiber at its mill in St. Jèrôme, Quebec. Island Paper in British Columbia is also in the recycled papermaking business.

Canadian paper manufacturers are moving quickly to meet the public's growing demand for recycled paper, but conversion costs are high and paper merchants are being forced to bring in large quantities of recycled fine paper grades from the United States. The Canadian Pulp and Paper Association estimates it will be at least three years before Canadians will be able to buy all grades of recycled paper that will state, "Made in Canada. "

The norm will probably be established at about 50% recycled fiber for most grades of premium papers. Prices are also falling as demand increases. As of this date, recycled paper costs about 8 to 10%. more than paper made from virgin wood fiber.

Alkaline papermaking is the new direction for the industry. It is a less expensive process, makes use of limestone buffers which are more abundant and less costly than traditional titanium dioxide, is environmentally more acceptable, and the paper lasts longer.

Three months ago, four Canadian companies were using the alkaline process. Now there are at least seven. Weyerhaeuser Canada, Canadian Pacific Forest Products (Dryden mill), Island Paper and Domtar were mentioned in the first report. E.B. Eddy Forest Products of Ottawa and Hull switched two paper machines at the end of last year, and will have five more converted by the end of 1990. Mike Datson, product manager, Printing Grades, said in an interview an February 1, "we are in the process of changing to an alkaline process at Ottawa/Hull and at Port Huron, Michigan. The scene is changing weekly, and all our paper grades will be alkaline soon." Rolland Paper Inc., active in recycling, are converting their St. Jèrôme operation now, and it will be alkaline by the end of the summer. Fraser Inc. is also considering changing to an alkaline system at meetings taking place this week. Throughout the Entire industry, change is on the way. Again, the initial cost of converting from the traditional acidic system to an alkaline one is very expensive.

In New Brunswick, the collecting of waste paper products is far more successful than its disposal. The reason: pulp and paper mills are not yet able to handle the newsprint and post-consumer waste paper that is collected. Many mills need and will buy used corrugated cardboard that can be made into boxboard. Cardboard, however, is bulky and is difficult for various recycling operations to collect aid store.

The result is that in New Brunswick recyclers collect used newsprint and post-consumer waste paper, and can't get rid of the vast majority of it, while Fraser in Edmundston, Consolidated Bathurst and Lake Utopia Paper are forced to purchase their used cardboard requirements from the United States and/or Upper Canada because it is not available locally.

The major problem for the paper companies is the cost of the conversion from an acidic to an alkaline system, plus the $100 million price tag for a deinking plant when manufacturers are using recycled newsprint and/or post-consumer waste. It will take time and money for mills here and elsewhere to adjust to these changes.

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URL: http://cool.conservation-us.org/byorg/abbey/ap/ap03/ap03-1/ap03-109.html
Timestamp: Sunday, 03-Mar-2013 21:41:28 PST
Retrieved: Monday, 20-Nov-2017 11:39:15 GMT