Environmental assessment of recycled printing and writing paper: a case study in China.

Research paper by Jinglan J Hong, Xiangzhi X Li

Indexed on: 02 Nov '11Published on: 02 Nov '11Published in: Waste Management


A life cycle assessment was conducted using IMPACT2002+ to estimate the environmental impact of producing printing and writing paper, which is entirely made with wastepaper. To confirm and add credibility to the study, uncertainty analysis was conducted using Taylor series expansion. Printing and writing paper produced from wood pulp was assessed for comparison. Compared with the wood pulp contained scenario, printing and writing paper made from wastepaper represented environmental benefit on non-carcinogens, respiratory inorganics, global warming, and non-renewable energy categories. In both scenarios, the technologies significantly contribute to the potential impacts of non-carcinogens, respiratory inorganics, terrestrial ecotoxicity, global warming, and non-renewable energy. The influence of the technologies on the way other categories affect the environment was negligible. Improved efficiency in electricity consumption, decreased transport distance from raw material buyers to suppliers, and change in the end-life treatment of solid waste from landfill to incineration are the key factors in reducing the overall environmental impact.