London, United Kingdom 26 January 2015 -- Using prototype technology, Veolia UK is trialling a new process that creates pulp from contaminated domestic paper for use in the construction, packaging and moulded fibre industries. According to the latest available data, the UK recycles approximately 8 million tonnes of waste paper. This represents around 70 per cent of the paper thrown away, but the rest - many different types of paper - are rejected from recycling facilities because they have been contaminated with glass, sand, plastic, metal or, most frequently, food or grease.
This could be due to the intrinsic nature of the paper, such as pizza boxes or takeaway lids. Or it could be that the paper has been discarded with general household waste. This contaminated paper is then sent to landfill or energy recovery facilities. But although it requires more processing to remove these contaminants, the high fibre content of the paper means it can still have a commercial value.
Veolia`s solution extracts the value from this paper source while reducing its environmental impact. Pro-Fibre is paper pulp produced from contaminated paper. The five-step process now developed enables Veolia to remove contaminants and create a pulp that can replace virgin materials currently used in the construction and packaging industry, including insulation materials and biodegradable pots.
Now the company is working closely with a partner specialising in the fibre industry, to analyse the properties of the pulp to better understand the product's commercial potential. Veolia UK is also investigating potential uses for the pulp such as cellulose wadding for insulation and biodegradable pots. The first batch of pulp will be launched to market early 2015.