North Pacific Paper Co. (NORPAC), Longview, Washington, is expanding its Longview operations to transform recovered paper into 100 percent recycled papers for boxes, displays, bags and a variety of other packaging products. According to a news release from NORPAC, the expansion will help solve a difficult environmental challenge resulting from changes in the state’s ability to export recovered paper for recycling, which has sent tons of valuable material to landfills instead. Converting that material to new paper will also safeguard about 400 jobs at the mill.
“Today, our state faces an unprecedented environmental challenge from waste papers because of China’s new, more stringent restrictions on unsorted and high-reject content waste papers,” says NORPAC CEO Craig Anneberg. “By increasing our ability to produce 100 percent recycled packaging papers, our company will be able to help solve this challenge, transforming waste papers into much needed packaging-grade papers for local and export markets. We anticipate converting one-third of NORPAC’s production to packaging grades while solidifying NORPAC’s future as a successful independent producer of packaging and communication papers including super-bright and book papers, copy paper and newsprint.”
This change implemented by NORPAC comes in response to China’s restrictions on unsorted and high-reject content recovered paper in 2018. NORPAC reports that there has been a disruption in recycling systems in the Pacific Northwest, and to help the state of Washington to respond, the company plans to recycle more than 400,000 metric tons per year of recovered paper. That paper will be turned into 100 percent recycled packaging-grade papers, including linerboard, corrugating medium, heavy- and light-weight bag grades and specialty Kraft papers.
NORPAC began producing packaging papers in 2018 and has since refined its product offerings, process and raw material sourcing to enable this expansion. The company reports that it expects to consumer the equivalent of all available waste and mixed paper grades recovered in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, effectively dealing with the environmental challenge and diverting this waste material from landfills.
“NORPAC is applying our long history of innovation to create this broad range of quality recycled packaging papers,” Anneberg adds. “By doing so, we can address this regional environmental crisis while meeting global customers’ evolving needs for lighter-weight, higher recycled-content packaging papers with world-class printing. In addition, NORPAC can take advantage of the strong consumer preference for paper over plastic as more communities, states and countries ban plastic bags.”