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Recycled newsprint could save trees for other uses: Flenniken.

Recycled newsprint could save trees for other uses: Flenniken

Canadian Pacific Forest Products Limited will open a new recycling plant at its Thunder Bay newsprint mill this year.

At the Winter Cities Forum in Sault Ste. Marie, company president Cecil Flenniken explained why CP Forest Products went ahead with recycling.

"When governments started to analyze garbage, they found that about 35 per cent of garbage placed on the curb consisted of paper products, and that old newspapers accounted for eight per cent of landfill volume. Newspapers became a major target in reducing solid waste."

Flenniken said the United States is more aggressive about recycling than Canada and has a goal of reducing waste by 25 per cent next year. Also, American publishers now must use a percentage of recycled content newsprint.

In Canada the goal to reduce waste has been set at 50 per cent by the year 2000.

"These changing needs, specifically the publishers' requirements for recycled content are opening new business opportunities for newsprint producers," explained Flenniken.

As one of the largest newsprint producers in the world, with 70 per cent of its newsprint sold in the U.S., CP Forest Products set up a recycling task force in 1989.

"The task force needed to secure an assured high-quality supply of waste fibre at a reasonable cost," explained Flenniken.

Later that year CP announced its $175-million recycling project. Two existing newsprint mills in Thunder Bay and Gatineau, Que. were selected. The mills are expected to consume 350,000 metric tons of old newspapers and magazines annually. Old newspapers from more than nine million citizens will be required.

Flenniken said a somewhat disturbing aspect of newsprint recycling is the swing from its original status as a solid waste issue.

"The need for virgin fibre will not be eliminated. Secondary fibre will reduce but not replace the need for virgin fibre because there is a limit to how many times pulp can be recycled. The reality is that the trees saved through newsprint recycling may provide an opportunity to expand into other product areas."

With regard to sustaining development, Flenniken said the forest industry uses and renews forests responsibly.

"Our company plants more than 32 million seedling each year, and the forest industry in general plants more than 850 million seedlings annually. What this means is that today Canadians plant many more trees than they cut."

Businesses considering recycling must ask themselves if their facilities are suitable for conversion, and if they can afford to make the substantial investment required to start up a recycling operation.

According to Flenniken, one of the most important questions any company must ask is if it has access to a long-term supply of high-quality recyclable products.

"One of the ironies in the newsprint recycling phenomenon is that there will be a shortage of paper waste. Over the next three years demand for recycled fibre is expected to grow at twice the rate of demand for virgin fibre."

PHOTO : Canadian Pacific Forest Products Limited's mill in Thunder Bay is one of two company mills which make up CP's $175-million recycling project.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Cecil Flenniken, president of Canadian Pacific Forest Products Limited
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Mar 1, 1991
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