|Pulp and Paper Industry
The uses and applications of paper and paper products are virtually limitless. In addition to the societal needs of paper for recording and disseminating of information, and for packaging materials, the United States pulp and paper industry employs more than 200,000 people, produces nine million tons of pulp, and 26 billion newspapers, books and magazines annually. Though U.S. mills represent only 15% of paper mills worldwide, they produce 36% of the world’s paper (Smook, 1992). “Exports of pulp and paper products are increasingly important to the economic health of the industry. In 1992, exports amounted to $10.1 billion” (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995).
The traditional wood pulp method of producing paper requires the cutting of vast numbers of trees, high water and fossil fuel usage, and the release of a number of toxic chemicals into the air and water. In response to government environmental regulations, increased paper pr...