Notebook Paper Cradle to Cradle

Environmental Science End of Year Project

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How is it made? (Sample Video Below)

Raw wood, or even an assortment of different wood products, are mixed together with water, lignin, fibers, and chemicals, in which pulp is created. The pulp is gone through a series of machines, including processes of flattening, hardening, and heating the pulp. Eventually you get paper, which is then inked into the notebook paper we all know so well.
The video below is used for Educational Purposes only.
How It's Made Paper

Raw Materials? Where are they from? How are they extracted?

Wood fiber from sawmills can be put in, and wood are some raw materials that can be put in. Different types of wood are used, coniferous type trees are called "softwood" and deciduous type trees are called "hardwood". They come from trees in which there can be tree farms or just the forest. They are extracted using heavy machinery, and harvested by turning into a pulp.

How is it used and what is the lifespan?

The product is used for a variety of things, mostly it is used to be written on, it can also be used for arts and crafts, but it is highly versatile so many things can be done with it. The lifespan of paper can vary greatly, as it can sit in a shelf and not be used for long periods of time, or it may be used within the next day and thrown away.

What happens when its no longer needed? Is it toxic? How long to break down?

The product is either thrown away, in which it joins landfills (35% of the weight in landfills is discarded paper of all kinds) or recycled. In the pulping process, there is pollution created, which is harming to the environment. Also, in the recycling process, in the process of deinking the paper, there is a harmful sludge created as a byproduct that needs to be properly disposed of as well.

“Pulp and paper is the third largest industrial polluter to air, water, and land in both Canada and the United States, and releases well over 100 million kg of toxic pollution each year” - Wikipedia

  • This attains to all kinds of paper products, not just notebook paper, so one must keep that in mind.

According to a study by SD State, notebook paper can take 2-4 weeks to break down.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Order of Importance

Personally, I believe reducing is the most important, because we have to think of the long term and of the future, so using less paper in general, and trying to reduce the use of notebook paper would help in the long run. Next, I would reuse paper in the best ways possible, in that way we can reduce the amount of paper we currently have already. Recycle is last because it can create bad byproducts, and the process can also be costly, for this reason it is last, but still important.