How Seventh Generation Creates 100% Recycled Paper Products
Here at Seventh Generation, we believe that doing right in the world of paper products means creating a 100% recycled product. Here's how we do it:
- We start with you! Fibers used to create our paper products --including paper towels, bathroom tissue, and facial tissue -- come primarily from what we call the North American "urban forest" -- which is paper that winds up in the recycling bin -- at home, in the office and from industrial users like printing shops.
- Then we make pulp. Once the used materials have been sorted, the next step is creating pulp -- the raw material used to create the newly recycled paper. A huge vat called a pulper mixes paper and water, and the mixture then circulates through cleaning systems to remove contaminants, including ink. If the end product is to be white, the pulp then goes through one or more bleaching steps, where hydrogen peroxide and/or sodium hydrosulfite are used to remove any color from the fibers. The pulp is then pumped onto a mesh screen -- at this point it's about 99% water -- and it goes from this watery pulp to an almost dry sheet of paper in less than 5 seconds via a dryer roll that measures 10 to 18 feet in diameter.
- Finally, the paper is cut to size. Formed into giant rolls that weigh 3 tons each, the newly created paper is transformed into Seventh Generation bath tissue, paper towels, and facial tissue. To make our bathroom tissue for example, two giant rolls are unrolled at the same time, and bind to form a single sheet. The product is then embossed, perforated, rolled, cut, and packaged. Our paper towels follow a similar process.
- We reuse by-products. During the processing of our paper products, water and other bi-products are reused wherever possible. As a result, Cascades, our manufacturing partner, is able to use 6X less water than the paper industry average in North America.
- No chlorine. Something else that sets Seventh Generation paper products apart is our use of hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydrosulfite instead of chlorine in our pulp whitening process, which reduces the amount of dangerous chlorinated toxins being released into the environment.
- Consumers buy our paper products, saving 123,000 trees each year.* Thank you for using Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Paper products. (*based on 2010 sales of Seventh Generation Recycled paper products)