By producing 100% recycled packaging papers from waste material previously sent to China, the company will help solve a major environmental challenge while supporting local jobs.
LONGVIEW, WA. – North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC) is expanding its Longview operations to transform waste paper into 100% recycled papers for boxes, displays, bags and a variety of other packaging products. The expansion will help solve a difficult environmental challenge resulting from changes in the state’s ability to export waste paper for recycling, which has sent tons of valuable material to landfills instead. Converting that material to new paper will also safeguard approximately 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,” said NORPAC CEO Craig Anneberg. “By increasing our ability to produce 100% 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 1/3 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.”
In January 2018, China placed stringent restrictions on unsorted and high-reject content waste papers – effectively prohibiting imports from the U.S. This sudden and dramatic change in waste paper markets has caused major disruption in the Pacific Northwest recycling system – resulting in paper that was traditionally recycled being sent to solid waste landfills.
To help the state respond, NORPAC plans to recycle over 400,000 metric tons per year of recovered waste paper into 100% 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, which takes advantage of current waste paper supplies while enhancing the mill’s product diversity and agility in dynamic markets. As a result, NORPAC expects to consume 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.
Powered by clean energy, the conversion will support approximately 400 direct jobs at the mill as well as indirect jobs for Cowlitz County.
“NORPAC is applying our long history of innovation to create this broad range of quality recycled packaging papers,” said Anneberg. “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.”
NORPAC’s previous environmental innovations include sustainable Natural Choice Copy Paper™, which a recent study found to have 90% less environmental impact than standard copy paper. For more information on NORPAC products, contact us at www.norpacpaper.com, www.facebook.com/NORPACLongviewWA, or (800) 426-0866.