Below are frequently asked questions about paper and papermaking:

Are we running out of trees?

How does Flambeau River Papers make paper products?

What goes into making a ton of paper?

How do you remove ink from recycled paper?

How much paper do Americans use?


Are we running out of trees?
Contrary to popular belief, there are actually more trees in our forests now then there were 70 years ago! This is due, in part, to sustainable land management and environmental preservation programs. The processes private companies like Flambeau and landowners use are designed to balance today’s demand for natural resources while ensuring those resources are available in the future. In addition to the environmental benefits of sustainable practices, the local economy benefits from job creation in the Park Falls community.
How does Flambeau River Papers make paper products?
In papermaking, wood is first de-barked and chipped into small pieces. Then a process called “pulping” is used, where sulfite is added to break down the wood chips. Wood fibers are separated in large digesters that remove a substance called lignin from the cellulosic wood fibers. (Lignin is a separate byproduct and has its own end uses.) Next, the cellulosic wood fibers go through a series whitening stages. We mix the fiber with a lot of water and other components such as recycled fiber.The pulp “slurry” is put on a high speed wire that moves very quickly on the paper machine. Water drains through the wire, and fibers bond together. The web of fiber goes through a series of presses where more water is squeezed out and the fibers become smooth. Heated rollers called dryer cans remove the remaining moisture to dry the paper. The paper is then reduced into smaller rolls on the winder using slitters and will be shipped to our end users.
What goes into making a ton of paper?
There are many different types of paper that call for various amounts of fiber and fillers. Here is just one example of what it takes to make 2000 lbs of bond offset paper:

  • 50,000 gallons of water
  • 2 cords of wood
  • 100 pounds of sulfur
  • 90 pounds of magnesium hydroxide
  • 350 pounds of lime
  • 60 pounds of caustic
  • 108 pounds of starch
  • 112 kwh of power
  • 16 pounds of rosin
  • 20 pounds of dye/pigment
  • 20 man hours
How do you remove the ink from recycled paper?
At FRP we have our own state-of-the-art de-inking plant. We take the recovered fiber and mix it with water to make a pulp slurry. The slurry is run through a series of washers and floatation deinking processes in which water and soap-like solvents called surfactants remove ink and debris from the paper.
How much paper do Americans use?In a year, Americans use more that 90 million tons of paper and paperboard a year (Source: TAPPI). This averages out to 700 pounds of paper related products per person each year!

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