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Recycling - it's not just for consumers anymore.

Recycling - It's Not Just For Consumers Anymore

"Paper made from paper and not from trees" is the slogan around the offices of Marcal Paper, Elmwood Park, NJ. The small paper and feminine hygiene product manufacturer is one of few mills in the U.S. to use 100% recycled paper in its paper products. All its paper towels, napkins, bath and facial tissues are made from old magazines, junk mail, office waste and newspaper inserts.

"My grandfather started this idea back in about 1948," said Peter Marcalus, vice president/corporate communications. "We've been recycling for almost 50 years." Only in the past five years have the company's products become 100% recyclable; prior to that they were mixed with virgin fibers as well.

"It was in the last 18 months to two years that we started noticing the momentum of consumer concern," said Mr. Marcalus. "We started working on a marketing plan, which was just launched last November. We've received a tremendous amount of positive consumer mail," Mr. Marcalus continued. "This has won over new customers and helped keep customers who were not so brand loyal in the past."

Marcal's products fit into the "value" category in supermarkets, at a lower price point than "premium" products, but above the private label or store brands. The company sells east of the Mississippi, but is strongest in the Northeast and sections of the Southeast. Its "Whenever" line of feminine hygiene products is also expanding regional distribution in the same markets.

The Marcal papermaking process takes old magazines, junk mail, office waste, computer printouts and newspaper inserts - no newsprint is allowed - and sorts and cleans it for processing. The paper is blended into a slurry, de-inked, dried and reprocessed into brand new Marcal products.

The company currently reclaims 150,000 tons a year; 70% of this is received from New Jersey, the rest comes from other states in the Northeast. More than 81 communities in the area participate in the Marcal program at this time. These towns benefit by separating and collecting these materials because it reduces the amount of solid waste going into landfills and incinerators, thereby decreasing rapidly escalating tipping fees.

A three-year, $16 million expansion recently got underway at Marcal's Elmwood Park facility. The company is expanding its pulp and paper plant to a capacity of 200,000 tons a year, an increase of 33%. The new facility will concentrate on processing post-consumer waste; Marcal uses a combination of both post- and pre-consumer waste.

The expansion program is partially funded by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which awarded the company a $3 million business loan through its Office of Recycling - the largest amount ever given to a New Jersey business - for the 15,000 sq. foot recycling facility.
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Title Annotation:Marcal Paper Mills Inc.'s recycling program
Author:Noonan, Ellen
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Sep 1, 1990
Words:458
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