North Pacific Paper Company is pushing further into the recycled paper market, adding a new drum pulper that will support an existing 400 mill jobs and produce recycled packaging papers from waste material previously sent to China. “We’re excited to reach a big milestone in our work to achieve our vision of opening new markets, providing low-carbon, recycled packaging papers and retaining our talented, innovative workforce,” NORPAC CEO Craig Anneberg said in a prepared statement. “This new machine is up to the tough job of keeping wastepaper out of landfills and turning it into new, recycled products — that’s good for jobs and our environment.“
The drum pulper will break down waste paper by adding water and agitating it into a uniform pulp that can be transformed into new products. For NORPAC, those products will be lightweight recycled packaging papers. The company decided to move into recycled production after China effectively banned the import of waste papers in 2020 following several years of restrictions. That disrupted the Pacific Northwest recycling system and paper that was traditionally recycled ended up in landfills. NORPAC said it plans to recycle hundreds of thousands of metric tons per year of recovered wastepaper into recycled packaging papers, such as linerboard, corrugated medium, bag grades and specialty Kraft papers. To do so, it has invested more than $50 million into equipment and mill infrastructure upgrades, the company’s release said.