Research Paper: Turned Into Other Products

Pages: 7 (2632 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Transportation - Environmental Issues  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] This cannot be done with "new" pulp, so using recycled options keeps chlorine-containing chemicals out of the water and air (Blanco, Miranda, & Monte 2013). Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used as a bleaching agent, and it is much less caustic than the chlorine-based options (Yamashita & Suzuki 2014). However, recycling is not without pollution, as it often creates sludge that has to be disposed of (Yan, Sagoe-Crentsil, & Shapiro 2011).

The idea of recycling waste paper actually began early in the 19th century, when a demand for books and materials that could be used for writing began to increase (Young, et al. 2010). This increase became significant by the middle of the 19th century, and it was clear that the discarded linen rags that were generally used for paper were not going to be acceptable in keeping up with demand for reading and writing options (Young, et al. 2010). Books would then be purchased at auction, and the fiber content in them would be recycled into paper that could be used for writing, or that could be used to create more books.

How and Where to Recycle Waste Paper

The UK was one of the first places to do this, but the idea soon spread to other countries and regions (Young, et al. 2010). Recycling has continued to develop, but it is still only a fraction of what it really could be. Around one-third of recycled waste paper comes from post-consumer waste, while the rest comes from pre-consumer waste and mill broke waste (Best & Kneip 2011). If more post-consumer paper was to be recycled, it would improve the environmental issues being faced by pulp mills and could also reduce the mills' costs (Yan, Sagoe-Crentsil, & Shapiro 2011). However, recycling paper is not always an easy process, and collecting it costs money, as well.

Many cities and other municipalities have recycling facilities, where consumers can come and recycle paper and paper products, along with other items (Young, et al. 2010). Some areas also have recycling bins for commercial and residential use, which allows individuals and businesses to put items into the bins and put them out next to their trash cans for pickup on designated days (Best & Kneip 2011). Some cities charge for this service, and others include it free with the pickup of the trash containers. In some more progressive areas, recycling is a mandatory activity within the city limits, in an effort to reduce how much trash goes to landfills (Young, et al. 2010).

It is generally not difficult to recycle paper and paper products, but there are still some people who are resistant to doing so. For those who are interested in involving themselves in the recycling process, there are usually a number of options they can exercise. The United States and the European Union are among the most proactive areas of the world when it comes to recycling, and offer a number of choices for those who want to recycle waste paper and other items (Yamashita & Suzuki 2014). Between educating consumers and ensuring that paper mills are using the latest and best practices for reforestation and recycling of waste paper, the number of tons of paper that heads to the landfill each year can be greatly reduced.

The main reason that recycling is so important to the environment has to do with the sheer volume of paper that is still used throughout the world. Despite the fact that some companies and offices are "going paperless," more than 90% of information stored by businesses is still stored on paper (Waite 2013). Often there is a backup copy online, but the fact that the paper was used is what is relevant here. With that level of paper being used and eventually discarded, it is vital that the vast majority of it makes its way to a recycling plant instead of a landfill. There are much larger issues at play here than just whether a paper mill saves money. The future of the planet can also be greatly affected, and that is something that can be avoided or at least mitigated through effort directed toward recycling.

Anytime a person or business uses recycled paper, they are helping to protect the already fragile environment from further, continued harm (Young, et al. 2010). There are many areas of the world where the forests are already ravaged, and where reforestation has not taken place. Those areas may never return to what they used to be, but it is still possible to avoid creating more areas like that. By recycling waste paper and ensuring that as much waste paper as possible stays out of landfills, the future can be brighter for the planet and for those who are committed to ensuring that paper mills recycle paper and avoid cutting down trees as much as possible. While it is not realistic to assume that recycling paper can stop all trees from being cut down, it is certainly possible to reduce the number of trees that are needed each year. That, coupled with strong reforestation efforts, can have the potential to help return the planet to what it once was, reduce pollution, and protect the earth for the next generation (Waite 2013).

References

Best, H., & Kneip, T. 2011. 'The impact of attitudes and behavioral costs on environmental behavior: A natural experiment on household waste recycling.' Social Science Research, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 917-930.

Blanco, A., Miranda, R., & Monte, M.C. 2013. 'Extending the limits of paper recycling-improvements along the paper value chain.' Forest Systems, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 471-483.

Hubbe, M.A. 2014. 'Recycling Paper Recycling.' BioResources, vol. 9, no. 2.

Laurijssen, J., Marsidi, M., Westenbroek, A., Worrell, E., & Faaij, A. 2010. 'Paper and biomass for energy?: The impact of paper recycling on energy and CO2 emissions.' Resources, conservation and recycling, vol. 54, no. 12, pp. 1208-1218.

Li, B., Wang, Z., Wu, S., Liu, J., & Cheng, J. 2013. 'Effects of Adhesive Aging on the Characteristics of Stickies and Their Removal during Paper Recycling.' Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, vol. 52, no. 28, pp. 9698-9704.

Merrild, H., Larsen, A.W., & Christensen, T.H. 2012. 'Assessing recycling vs. incineration of key materials in municipal waste: The importance of efficient energy recovery and transport distances.' Waste management, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 1009-1018.

Sidique, S.F., Joshi, S.V., & Lupi, F. 2010. 'Factors influencing the rate of recycling: An analysis of Minnesota counties.' Resources, Conservation and Recycling, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 242-249.

Virtanen, Y., & Nilsson, S. 2013. Environmental impacts of waste paper recycling. NY: Routledge.

Waite, R. 2013. Household waste recycling. NY: Routledge.

Yamashita, M., & Suzuki, K. 2014. 'Human Society Viewed from the Perspective of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Turned Into Other Products.  (2014, May 13).  Retrieved March 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/turned-products-generally/5150044

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