NORPAC expands its recovered paper use

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.

“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.”

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 of recovered paper per year. That paper will be turned into recycled packaging-grade papers, including linerboard, corrugating medium, heavy- and lightweight bag grades and specialty Kraft papers, the company says.

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 says it expects to consume the equivalent of all available waste and mixed paper grades recovered in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, diverting this material from landfills.