Once the fibres are clean and free from contaminants, they are suspended in a water solution and are now ready to start their journey to be reformed into paper.
The amount of water the fibres are suspended in is gradually reduced and at this stage colour dyes and chemical additives used to control the wet-strength of the paper are added. The solution is introduced to the paper machine’s forming web which takes the water and fibres through several pressure rollers and eventually a drier hood where the now dry fibres have formed together and are then ‘créped’ off the vacuum drier to produce the tissue paper used in the manufacture of our products. This paper is then wound into large ‘Parent Reels’ before going off to be converted into finished product.
Smaller contaminants produced such as sand and ash then pass to a large vat, where steam is injected into the vat creating a surface ‘sludge’. This sludge is removed, squeezed to remove water and is used in a number of applications including animal bedding and agricultural soil conditioning
The heavy contaminants which are unsuitable for further use are extracted whilst the remaining 95% of material is fully reused. We are looking into methods in order to recycle the heavy contaminants of which a large percentage is a variety of plastics. However, you too can help by taking a moment to think about what you throw into your paper recycling!
The water used in our processes are sourced from local rivers. Through the course of recycling, the water is recycled, reused and cleaned several times before finally being returned to the river as even cleaner water than when it was first extracted.
As a result of improved waste quality and process improvement, we have seen a 10% increase in yield over the last 10 years, helping us to ensure that the maximum possible amount of raw material is fully recycled as well as helping to make a significant contribution to preserving resources.
At Northwood, we have made huge investments over recent years to make our manufacturing process as environmentally friendly as possible, and we are continuing to invest on an ongoing basis. Every year we embark on a number of new projects to improve our efficiency. Some of our most significant successes include: