The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 2, Number 4
Oct 1989


Alkaline Recycled Paper

There are at least ten paper companies that make alkaline recycled paper right now, and the number will certainly grow in the near future. Other companies make alkaline recycled paper, but these were the easiest to find in the directories.

Call the companies and ask for the names of distributors nearest you.

Consolidated - 715/422-3111
Cross Pointe - 612/644-3644. A major producer.
French - 616/683-1100
Glatfelter - 717/225-4711. A major producer.
Grays Harbor 206/532-9600
Lyons Falls 203/782-0847
Miami (part of Cross Pointe)
Parsons Paper - 413/532-3222
Simpson-Plainwell - 800/253-1895
Ward - 715/536-5591
Whiting - 800/558-5055

James River - Groveton Converts

The James River Corporation's mill in Groveton, New Hampshire, converted to alkaline recently. It is in the Communications Papers Division, Northeast Group, " 300 tons daily of printing and writing papers.

Connecticut Gets A Permanent-Paper Law

Public Act No. 89-167, concerning the use of permanent paper for state and local records and the preservation of existing records, took effect in Connecticut in July.

In brief, the state librarian is responsible for providing preservation and restoration services for state and local records, and the public records administrator is responsible for furnishing a list of permanent papers to officials who have custody of permanent records. Any official with custody of any permanent records for the state and its subdivisions has to use alkaline papers that conform to the ANSI standard for permanence .

Copies of this law are available from the Abbey Publications office for a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Other states that have similar laws or regulations, or are working an them, are Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina and Vermont.

International Organization Promotes Permanent Paper

IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Organizations, met in Paris in August and passed three resolutions on "acid-free permanent papers." They urged IFLA members to talk their governments into encouraging the use of permanent paper, to get paper manufacturers to produce it for printing and writing purposes, and to get publishers to use it and identify it as such. They urged the International Publishers Association to promote its use, UNESCO to make its use part of their policy, organizations like IFLA and the UN to use it to set a good example, and the International Organization for Standards to "move quickly to develop international standards for coated and uncoated acid -free permanent papers."

The initiative for these resolutions came from the United States, where there is a great deal of concern over what other countries do about producing and using permanent paper, since a large proportion of the books in American research libraries come from other countries, and many of them are unique copies, not replaceable at any price.

Dioxin Update

In the spring of 1988, a cooperative study began of all 104 U.S. pulp mills using chlorine for bleaching, to discover the amount of dioxin in their products and effluent. That study, by the American Paper Institute, Environmental Protection Agency and NCASI, the paper industry's research organization, has begun to yield data, which is reported in the July 24 Chemical & Engineering News and the October Tappi Journal. Median amounts found were: 6 ppt in hardwood pulp; 3.5 ppt in softwood pulp; 17 ppt in sludge; and 24 ppq in wastewater. This is not very much. It would not be enough to worry about if dioxin did not accumulate in fatty tissues, or if it could be excreted. Science News for February 18, 1989 (p. 105) reports one species of fish that accumulated 159,000 times as much dioxin as the water or sediment around it. Root crops grown in contaminated soil can have concentrations that equal or exceed those of the soil.

Dioxin is a controversial topic. Howard Rapson minimizes the risk in his paper in the June PIMA, and Greenpeace exaggerated the risk when it said without qualification that dioxin was the most dangerous toxin known to mm. The fact is, very little is known about it, partly because there are only three pieces of equipment in the country that can measure small amounts of it, and the epidemiological data does not show a consistent picture. It will take time to sort it all out.

In the meantime, an in-depth study of 25 mills to try to identify the points in the bleaching process when dioxin is formed is nearing completion.

States Require Newspapers To Use Recycled Fiber

The New York Times for August 22 had a little article entitled "Publishers Oppose Laws on Recycled Paper," which said that two states now have laws encouraging or requiring newspapers to use recycled paper (Connecticut and Florida), and 12 other states were considering proposals to require the use of recycled paper, or to impose taxes on the use of virgin fiber, or to grant tax credits for the use of recycled paper. Those states are California, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The American Newspaper Publishers Association is in favor of recycling, but opposes government regulation of newsprint, which it says is intolerable in a free society.

Howard Paper Mills Has New Owner

Howard Paper Mills, of Dayton and Urbana, Ohio, has been making Permalife for years. (Permalife text and bond, originally developed by William J. Barrow, the Herty Foundation and Standard Paper Company, may now be the best-known permanent paper in the world.) Now it has been purchased by Warrior River Paper Company, an Alabama management investment firm "that is using experienced industry management." Harry Sherman, president and CEO of Warrior River, discussed the future of Howard Paper Mills in the September Pulp & Paper (p. 41), saying that it will keep its name but will be upgraded, with attention to quality and profitability. The mill has been run just weekdays because of pulp price increases and recent slackening in demand as the tight paper market eased. Sherman will be looking for ways of lowering the cost of furnish, including the use of high-quality recycled paper ("pulp substitutes"). "The federal government is letting people get to the head of the line," he said, "who have more than 40%. recycled in [their] sheet. I think we're going to see more and more of that."

Howard makes about three dozen papers, most of which are acidic. Only their Permalife, Permalife Cover, Permalife Ledger and Permalife Library Card are alkaline.

Kenaf Pulp Mill In Texas Put On Hold

Because of a projected oversupply of newsprint over the next two to three years, a $400,000,000 mill planned for construction in McAllen, Texas, to use kenaf instead of wood for fiber, has been indefinitely postponed. It would have begun operation in late 1991 or early 1992. Fortunately, Kenaf International will continue growing kenaf m about 200 acres of land in southern Texas, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue its kenaf research.

Kenaf is a quick-growing plant that looks like sugar cane or sorghum, and may one day be widely used for newsprint and a wide variety of other products. (In the news releases that have been published so far, though, no mention has been made of its use for printing and writing paper.) It has been used in this country on a small scale, but was recently brought into the public eye when the U.S. Department of Agriculture selected it as the most promising source of pulp to supplement wood. It has gone most of the way through the development stage. What makes it an attractive fiber source are, among other things, its apparent stability (it is said not to yellow) and its minimal impact on the environment (unlike wood, kenaf can be pulped with heat and pressure, using only minimal chemical treatment; and it would save trees). It also has good tear strength, which is hard to achieve in alkaline papers. There are certain problem, none of them insuperable: it needs special equipment to harvest and store it, it needs much more storage room, and it will have to compete with other semitropical crops for the limited farmland available.

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