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Paper makers pursue ‘green’ materials, practices

Companies use recycled and wood-free inputs to preserve forest resources.

Paper suppliers in China are implementing various strategies to promote environmental protection.


Shandong Jiawang offers this copy paper made of bamboo fibers.

For most makers, recycling has emerged as a viable measure because of its many advantages. To illustrate, reprocessing a ton of paper yields approximately 8,500kg of materials. This procedure also enables companies to save about 3m³ of timber, 100m³ of water, 12 kilotons of coal and 600kW of electricity compared with the manufacture of pure wood pulp versions.

The surface of recycled variants, however, is not as smooth and white as those of virgin equivalents, prompting suppliers to enhance pulping technology.

To achieve this, the Shandong Chenming Paper Group has hired specialists to improve the deinking process and dust removal, and produce models with greater strength and brightness. Among the company’s clients are Dell and Sony.

The adoption of wood-free alternatives such as bamboo, reed and sugarcane fibers is increasing as well. Of these, more makers are favoring the first because it has attributes similar to those of pure wood pulp. Fiber-based releases, however, are typically manufactured inland where resources are abundant. This raises freight costs and lengthens delivery time.

Apart from a factory devoted to wood pulp products in Shandong province, Shandong Jiawang Industrial Co. Ltd has plants in Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces for bamboo and reed models, respectively.

The supplier indicated that transporting one TEU of paper by land from the former location to a coastal port takes one week and necessitates a budget of $1,400. Shipping via sea, meanwhile, requires a month and costs $400. As a result, the company’s bamboo designs are priced between 7 and 14 percent higher than wood pulp counterparts. Shandong Jiawang exports models mainly to the US, Europe, Japan and Brazil.

Stone paper, made mostly of calcium carbonate, is likewise gaining popularity. The manufacture of such releases does not entail the use of water and bleaching agents, thereby causing less environmental strain.

The bulk of enterprises, however, are not stationery supplies specialists, and focus production on the domestic market.

Seeing the profitability of shipping overseas, Shanghai Shike Stone Paper Co. Ltd is currently setting up a department that will concentrate on exports. In addition, the maker is establishing several factories in different parts of mainland China. Its plant in Anhui province began operations last February, and has been receiving orders and partnership proposals from buyers in the US, Japan and Germany.

Shanghai Shike is a branch of Taiwan-based Lung Meng, which provides stone models to various clients in Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.

Some large businesses are likewise taking part in forest preservation by promoting sustainable material sources.

Shandong Chenming, for example, started growing eucalyptus trees in Zhanjiang city of Guangdong province in May 2010. The project, still in its first phase, is anticipated to yield 1 megaton of wood pulp annually.

Last year, Shandong Sun Paper Industry Joint Stock Co. Ltd spent $200 million on the establishment of a paper mill and the use of a 100,000 hectare land in Laos. The area will serve as a plantation for eucalyptus and acacia trees. With these in place, the supplier expects to produce 300 kilotons of bleached hardwood kraft pulp every 12 months.

A number of top-tier manufacturers are investing heavily in pollution control as well. Shandong Chenming, Shandong Sun Paper and Shandong Huajin Group Co. Ltd have allocated $300 million, $153 million and $55 million, respectively, for reducing the COD and energy consumption of their factories.

Part of Shandong Chenming’s enhancement efforts is the improvement of black dye extraction during wastewater treatment. At present, the supplier’s technology can remove 97 percent of black liquid, lowering COD by 3.38 tons per day. The company is also enlarging the capacity of its alkali recycling system to decrease the load of midwater. This step raises the alkali recycling rate by more than 90 percent.

Additionally, Shandong Chenming has developed a treatment technology that can make wastewater a suitable substitute for fresh water during pulping. This engineering advancement, which has the approval of Shandong’s Science and Technology, Finance and Environment Protection departments, is able to recycle 40,000m³ of water daily.

Shandong Sun Paper, meanwhile, employs the two-stage anaerobic and aerobic wastewater treatment system, cutting COD emissions from 420mg/L in 2005 to the present 60mg/L.

Further, both the company and Shandong Huajin have established wetland parks to educate people on the importance of pollution control and water conservation. These feature oxidation ponds filled with ornamental fish.

Product gallery

Upgrading facilities

Paper suppliers in China are updating manufacturing machines to reduce power consumption and increase efficiency.

Shandong Huajin entered into an energy performance contract in 2000, and has since saved almost $46 million in electrical costs and 300 kilotons of coal.

The maker also allotted $5.8 million to the procurement of a 15,000kW backpressure regulator in December 2010 to enable the company to decrease coal usage further by 40 kilotons yearly.

Besides these, Shandong Huajin augmented its facilities with a machine that turns out 240x2.6m of paper per minute.

Shandong Sun Paper purchased equipment from Finland’s Metso that yields 400 kilotons of paper annually. It also operates six- and eight-pocket cut-size sheeters from E.C.H. Will of Germany, which can produce 120 kilotons of copy paper every 12 months. The maker also boasts a Valzone metal belt calender that increases the thickness and strength of models.

Paper selection

China suppliers offer an assortment of paper for stationery and office use. With surging demand for earth-friendly releases, makers are bolstering production of models in sustainable materials. Traditional wood pulp designs, however, still dominate the line.

Copy paper constitutes the bulk of output because of its versatility. Such items can be utilized in ink-jet and laser printers, with most midrange and upscale versions suitable for high-speed and large-volume color printing.

Mainstream models have a density of 70 to 80gsm, and come in A3, A4, B4 and B5 varieties. Many US-bound 75gsm designs are also available in 8 and 16K, and 216x270mm constructions.

Generally, copy paper used for writing and computer printing are A4, and 241x280 and 280x381mm types that are 50 to 80gsm thick. Prices are $920 to $1,050 per ton.

In terms of brightness, standard measurements range from 90 to 100. Shandong Sun Paper employs neutral sizing agents and chlorine-free bleaching for its releases to achieve brightness levels of 104 to 109.

Carbonless copy paper, often utilized in invoices and balance sheets, has a density of 48 to 80gsm and is surface-coated with microencapsulated dye or ink to facilitate duplication. The popular colors are white, pink, yellow and blue. The last, together with black, is a common option for ink. Quotes are $1,370 to $1,500 per ton.

Xiamen Anne Corp. Ltd installs anti-counterfeiting features, including watermarks and microprinting, in its releases. The supplier provides carbonless copy paper to the China Welfare Lottery Center, the Fujian Local Taxation Bureau, and various overseas locations.

The company is also among the few makers in China that offer BPA-free thermal paper. Such designs are 20 to 30 percent more expensive than regular heat-sensitive designs.

Copy paper

Product gallery

Shandong Jiawang Industrial Co Ltd

Model: Bamboo 80gsm Copy Paper
Delivery: 20 days
Description: Copy paper; A4; 70 or 80gsm; bamboo fiber

Copy paper

Shandong Sun Paper Industry Joint Stock Co. Ltd

Model: Copy Pilot (Orange Pack)
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Copy paper; 100% wood pulp; 70 or 80gsm; 104 brightness level

Copy paper

Shandong Sun Paper Industry Joint Stock Co. Ltd

Model: Golden Sun (Green Pack)
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Copy paper; 100% wood pulp; 70 or 80gsm; 109 brightness level

Copy paper

Shandong Sun Paper Industry Joint Stock Co. Ltd

Model: Lecopy
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Copy paper; 100% wood pulp; 70 or 80gsm; 104 brightness level

Copy paper

Shandong Sun Paper Industry Joint Stock Co. Ltd

Model: King Print (Red Pack)
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Copy paper; 100% wood pulp; 70 or 80gsm; 104 brightness level; suitable for computer printers and other office equipment

Stone paper

Shanghai Shike Stonepaper Co. Ltd

Model: 13
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Stone paper; calcium carbonate, PE; 0.8 to 1.2g/m; 80 to 200µ thick

Carbonless copy paper

Xiamen Anne Corp. Ltd

Model: Data 02
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Carbonless copy paper

Thermal paper

Xiamen Anne Corp. Ltd

Model: Bank Slip
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Thermal paper; color printing

Note: This article "Paper makers pursue ‘green’ materials, practices" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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