Virgin vs Recycled Paper
Uncovering the Truth: Virgin vs. Recycled Paper
Uncovering the Truth: Virgin vs. Recycled From schools to offices to hospitals to restaurants, paper such as paper towels and toilet tissue is a necessity that keeps organizations functioning properly. And in today’s environmentally conscious world, choosing a sustainable paper option is extremely important. With many companies labeling their products with “recycled,” “green” and “environmentally friendly,” it’s easy to assume those are the best choice. However, there’s more than meets the eye when determining which paper option is right for you and the environment.
While some recycled products are true to their name and goal, many others, especially within the paper industry, can use those words as a branding scheme and not live up to them. Due to the rise in recycled paper products, paper made from virgin fibers is now seen as wasteful. In most cases though, it’s the exact opposite.
Today, many consumers choose to support brands not only because they offer great products and services, but because they are transparent and responsible about labor, safety and sustainability issues. On the other hand, businesses with poor ethics scorecards can quickly drive customers away. This makes a facility manager’s choice in paper an important decision, and one that shouldn’t be based solely on a packaging buzzword.
The Truth about Recycled Fibers
Purchasing products made from recycled paper sounds like the best option to cut waste in restrooms. However, it all comes down to the details. Paper fibers can only be reused from five to seven times 1 , depending on the paper grade, and it’s impossible to know how many times paper has been reused. Overused paper fibers can result in inconsistencies, low-quality and poor performance, which are sure to create an unpleasant restroom experience.
The paper industry, on average, uses around 40 percent of forestry 2 . However, trees are a renewable resource and recycling paper reduces the demand for trees, resulting in fewer planted. Recycled fibers are also shorter in length than virgin fibers, which makes the paper more susceptible to breakage and lack absorbency. Recycled paper also doesn’t retain ink as well, causing it to fade or not show up as boldly as intended. Depending on the purpose of the paper, recycled fibers can also cause a lack of stickiness and warp easily under humid conditions.
In addition to basic malfunctions caused by reused fibers, the process of making recycled paper isn’t very hygienic. According to a study done by Laval University, the concentration of bacteria in tested recycled paper was between 100- to 1,000-fold higher than the virgin wood pulp brand 3 . While the amounts of bacteria found would likely have little effect on healthy people, it does pose a threat to individuals such as young children or those with weakened immune systems.
Another study found that recycled paper mills have an issue with bacterial slime 4 . Since recycled paper contains starches used as binding ingredients, it serves as the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Some strains found in the study included bacteria associated with food poisoning.
Due to a lack of credible certification, “recycled” paper might not even contain a very high level of original paper, making it necessary for consumers to check percentages. If a brand’s packaging does not identify the paper product as 100 percent recycled, it could have been recovered using energy generated from coal. Because it is contributing to CO2 emissions and using excess energy, recycled paper that does not meet the 100 percent mark means it may as well have not been recycled at all.
A Closer Look at Virgin Fibers
Paper made from virgin fibers is no less environmentally friendly than paper constructed with recycled fibers – as long as you choose wisely. In fact, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has confirmed that certified virgin paper is environmentally sound . This is in part due to the fact that without the production of virgin fibers, the world would run out of paper within just a few months 6 . Since recycled paper can only be recycled a certain number of times, virgin paper production is necessary in order to continue using paper products.
The modern production process of virgin fibers is much more hygienic than recycled paper mills and generates the energy needed from burning waste wood rather than relying on electricity or fossil fuels like recycled mills. This method uses virgin pulp bales and processes the material in “pulpers” which enables different types of high-quality paper to be made. For example, long-fiber virgin pulp produces strong kitchen paper, and short-fiber virgin pulp produces soft toilet tissue. There’s no bacteria-harboring starches for germs to cling to or any slime left behind.
Virgin fibers create paper with higher absorbency rates, better ink color and retention, and softer and more durable options. Providing effective and high-quality products reduces waste because guests won’t have to use multiple paper towels or a large portion of the toilet paper roll to satisfy their needs. Better products also contribute to cost savings over time.
Because they are stronger and more reliable, virgin fiber products give customers an enhanced experience. In an age where word-of-mouth can reach millions via social media or review websites, and make or break a brand’s reputation, every business wants to avoid customer disasters, especially in restrooms. Because virgin fiber products also support the environment, they have the opportunity to further improve brand image.
The Sustainable Choice
Through innovative, sustainable strategies and new technology, virgin paper production is an environmentally responsible solution. With forest, water and energy conservation a top concern, virgin paper production must meet certain criteria in order to maintain its designation.
Since virgin fibers are created from trees, it’s essential that paper suppliers value natural resources and are open and honest about their production process. To ensure your paper provider is truly sustainable, make sure these non-negotiables are met:
- Raw material source: Look for the FSC label, which certifies that the paper and raw materials were sourced from sustainably managed forests. It’s also important to find suppliers that condemn illegal tree cutting practices and guarantee that raw materials don’t stem from socially conflicted areas.
- Manage water use: Look for paper companies that acknowledge water is a precious and valuable element. Suppliers should employ strategies that make sure the correct amount of water is always used to reduce waste.
- Energy conservation: The paper making process requires a lot of energy, so it’s important to find a supplier that puts thought into how energy sources are employed and works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Safety first: Paper products are used every day by millions of people, so safety is a top priority. Suppliers should have safe and sanitary processes in place within their factories to keep workers happy and healthy. Safety innovation also ensures that the end product is strong and reliable and will protect users.
- High quality: Sustainable paper should also be of high quality so that it is durable during use, expands and absorbs as needed, is soft and breaks down in water so that pipes do not become clogged.
It’s not impossible to identify producers that implement strict procurement policies regarding raw paper materials, use energy and water responsibly and create products that impress customers. More and more suppliers are beginning to adapt to these new demands and in return, help to preserve our planet’s natural resources.
The Truth Revealed
Recycled fibers sound great on paper, but within paper, they’re not as reliable or sustainable as perceived. Whether you require paper products for bathrooms, kitchens or busy office spaces, it’s better to find a sustainable solution that doesn’t result in inconsistencies, potential health hazards or customer satisfaction nightmares. The bottom line is that products made with virgin fibers have the same value in terms of the environment as certified recycled paper, and produce better results.
Virgin vs Recycled Paper Uncovering the Truth: Virgin vs. Recycled Paper Uncovering the Truth: Virgin vs. Recycled From schools to offices to hospitals to restaurants, paper such as paper
Virgin Paper Packaging Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2016 – 2024
- Rep Id : TMRGL21383
- Status : Ongoing
- To be Published : Jan 2021
Global Virgin Paper Packaging Market: Snapshot
The rise of recycled paper has largely been borne out of the globally increasing concern over the increasing rates of deforestation needed to produce enough paper for the world’s needs. Recycling of paper is also the prime reason for the steady drop in the overall demand for virgin paper, or paper that has been directly manufactured from trees and primary raw materials and has not involved the use of recycled paper. This is mostly regular paper made from freshly cut trees, commonly renamed as virgin paper. It should also be noted that the processing and manufacturing cost of virgin paper can be greater than that of recycled paper over time. However, at the moment, due to the relative size of both markets and therefore the overall availability of high manufacturing capacities, virgin paper or regular paper is cheaper than recycled paper. In the coming years, however, the cost of each is expected to shift adversely due to the overall savings in critical resources that can be brought about by using recycled paper.
The current quality of virgin paper is also better than most types of recycled papers. Over time, this is expected to change due to increasing developments in manufacturing of quality recycled papers. At the same time, virgin papers are valuable in a large number of fields in packaging and personal hygiene, creating a greater focus on these areas by manufacturers of virgin paper.
The paper packaging industry has witnessed a significant growth over the past decade owing to the preference for high quality packaging products and growing awareness about eco-friendly packaging materials that act as a substitute for plastics. High-quality packaging products such as the virgin paper packaging allows highlighting the brand value of products through visually appealing qualities. The virgin paper is a high-quality packaging material in terms of strength, printability, brightness and opacity. Virgin paper is manufactured without any mixture of recycled content primarily from the pulp of pine, spruce or fir. The global paper stream has to be replenished with the new pulp for manufacturing paper packaging products at regular interval or through recycling of the paper in order to sustain market supply.
Virgin Paper Packaging Market-Market Dynamics:
Consumption of high quality packaging paper for branded products is adding to the demand for the virgin paper packaging products. One of the factor fueling the growth of the virgin paper packaging market is the increase in per capita disposable income in emerging markets and the growing number of organized retailers promoting the utilization of kraft paper bags.
Variation of the product like bed rolls are used in hospitals for maintaining hygienic conditions which also lowers the cost of laundry. Another factor for the growth of virgin paper packaging market is its lightweight property which allows the product to be efficiently transported. Customized packaging for different brands is now the key interest of the customers in the virgin paper packaging market. However, the rapidly increasing cost of the raw material is acting as a restrain for the virgin paper packaging market.
Virgin paper packaging products are substituted by preference for packaging products made of cheaper plastics that allow wider variations in terms of packaging product design. Moreover, the customers adopting to flexible packaging formats can pose as a barrier to the virgin paper packaging market as virgin paper lacks in flexible properties.
Virgin Paper Packaging Market- Market Segmentation:
The virgin paper packaging market can be segmented on the basis of product type, product form and applications. On the basis of product type, the virgin paper packaging market can be segmented into sack kraft paper, semi-extensible sack kraft paper, fully-extensible sack kraft paper, speedex and high performance. On the basis of form, the virgin paper packaging market can be segmented into semi-rigid and rigid forms. On the basis of applications, the virgin paper packaging market can be segmented into food, industrial and building material, animal and pet food, PE (polyethylene) coating and special protective coating.
Virgin Paper Packaging Market- Regional Outlook:
Geographically, the virgin paper packaging market can be segmented into five key regions North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Middle East & Africa (MEA). Virgin paper packaging industry have been dominated by North America region higher disposable income among consumers. The Asia-Pacific and Europe are currently in the growth phase as the industries have started investing in these regions driven by China and India as the people have adopted to more eco-friendly ways and replaced plastic bags with paper bags, thus promoting the demand in the region. Latin America and MEA is also expected to have a growth phase over the years owing to growing environmental concerns.
Virgin Paper Packaging Market- Key Players:
Some of the key players of virgin paper packaging market are Georgia-Pacific LLC, S.N. Paper Mills Pvt. Ltd., Horizon, Natron-hayat d.o.o, International Paper, WestRock, Kapstone, Gascogne Papier, JK Paper Ltd, ITC Limited and Espee Packaging.
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Virgin Paper Packaging Market is mainly driven by consumption of high quality packaging paper for branded products; virgin paper packaging market can be segmented on the basis of product type, product form and applications