How recycled fibre changed Australian newsprint and magazines
The wood fibres that make up newspapers and magazines can recycled back into paper up to six times, significantly reducing the amount of energy and materials used.
Australian made newsprint varies but typically contains around 30 per cent recycled fibre content.
Recycling newspapers and magazines saves energy and reduces greenhouse gases. Emissions arising from using recycled fibre are 59 per cent less than from virgin wood fibre.
Adding recycled fibre to a newspaper sheet allows a thinner and lighter sheet to be made and as a result, less newsprint is needed. Less fibre, power and transport all translate into a smaller carbon emissions footprint. The thinner sheet also means more paper is wrapped on each reel, providing economies in transport, handling and printing. Less rolls are required, reducing wrapper and roll waste by 7 per cent.
Clay used in the recycling process increases the opacity of each newsprint sheet, providing less ‘show though’ and making print easier to read. It also results in a smoother surface that uses up to a third less ink to print, and allows the ‘floatation’ de-inking process to work.