Paper recycling: A priority for GP

Environment

Paper comes from trees. But many of the paper products Americans use every day also come from other paper products – means less of it ends up in landfills.

“Nearly two‐thirds of the paper consumed in the U.S. is recycled to make more paper,” said Heather Stuckey, national accounts director at GP Harmon Recycling, a division of Georgia‐Pacific.

Georgia‐Pacific uses more than 2 million tons of recovered paper each year, in everything from tissue and towel products to office paper, containerboard and corrugated boxes. In fact, Georgia‐Pacific is the largest producer of recycled away‐from‐home tissue products, offering more than 140 products that contain at least 95 percent recycled fiber. Consumers who want napkins and bath tissue with recycled content can choose Mardi Gras® and Soft'n Gentle® brands. Georgia‐Pacific Standard Recycled Multipurpose paper for copiers and printers contains 30% post‐consumer fiber. Our Spectrum® printing papers include a line of 30% recycled content papers and, in select markets, 100% recycled content papers.

To meet its recovered paper needs, GP turns to GP Harmon Recycling, which purchases the paper from a variety of sources including grocery store and retail chains, distribution centers as well as local recyclers. The brown recovered paper comes in the form of old corrugated containers (OCC) or old boxes and is used to make linerboard for new boxes. The white recovered paper comes from copy paper, printer paper, printer's waste and the paper consumers recycle at home.

Each year GP Harmon Recycling purchases more than 6 million tons of recovered paper – about 300,000 truckloads' worth. That's enough to meet GP's needs and also help address the growing demand for recovered paper in the United States and worldwide.

“It started as a service to provide wastepaper to the GP mill system, but it's grown organically into an ability to supply other domestic mills as well as supply export customers,” said Stuckey. GP Harmon is one of the largest managers of the U.S. wastepaper supply chain.

Even though trees themselves are a sustainable resource, incorporating recovered paper into certain paper products is the logical choice. Wood fiber can be used six to seven times before it's no longer able to go through the papermaking process. “It makes sense to take that fiber and keep reusing it like you would anything else,” said Stuckey.

Georgia‐Pacific is always looking for ways to maximize resource use and deliver benefits to the marketplace. Paper‐from‐paper is a win‐win.