Whole Foods' paper bag. It says: "This bag is made of 100% recycled paper (40% post-consumer recycled fiber and the remainder is post-industrial recycled fiber, excluding handles).
But this brought me back to my lingering question: "is recycling that environmentally beneficial?"I wrote about Japanese recycled paper scandal the other day. What happened is that Japanese major paper companies lied about mixture ratio of recycled material and virgin material.
If what Nippon Paper Group argues is true, using recycled material (contaminated) requires more energy compared to using virgin material which leads to higher cost (and more additives or chemical input?). Plus, paper can be recycled max 4-5 times. The more time the material is recycled, the less yield the secondary product will achieve.
Whole Foods paper bag is made of 100% recycled paper. Obviously, it's not bleached. It touches pretty rough....not smooth. Yes it feels like "recycled" paper. Interestingly, the handle is not made of recycled materials. I assume that it's because recycled materials can not achieve the strength that is required for a handle.
Going back to Japan's recycled paper scandal, I think what Japanese companies were lying about was paper product such as copy paper. It will require more quality compared to a grocery bag.
Here is my question: shouldn't recycled paper focus on certain products that would require less quality?
Recycling is not alchemy. You cannot make super-quality product from bad quality material unless you use more input during the process. If that's the case, instead of trying to make everything from recycled paper, isn't it better to decide what to make from virgin materials and what from recycled materials?
I find LCA for recycled paper....recycled vs incinerated vs landfill.
I want see the environmental impact of the paper made of virgin material vs different mixture ratio of virgin and recycled, and vs 100% recycled. More preferable, different recycled materials scenario: homogeneous, heterogeneous, contamination level.....
Otherwise I can't decide which solution is most environmentally beneficial.