Michigan Paper Mill Finds New Solution for Residuals

by Marissa Heffernan
Jul 28, 2022 3:10 PM ET
Great Lakes Tissue aims to eliminate material headed to landfill. | Courtesy of Great Lakes Tissue

Originally published on Resource Recycling

Collaboration between an industry group and several Michigan organizations helped Great Lakes Tissue think outside the carton when it comes to its use of recycled material.

Michigan-based Great Lakes Tissue teamed up with the Carton Council of North America, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to purchase new equipment that cuts down the amount of residuals generated by the toilet paper and tissue manufacturer.

The work also helps boost recycling of all components of recovered food and beverage cartons, which can contain plastic and aluminum along with the fiber that is used to make most of the packaging.

“We don’t want to just say cartons are recyclable, but it’s just the fiber,” said Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for Carton Council of North America. “We want to say the whole thing is.”

Reality of 30% residuals

Pelz said the Carton Council was initially approached by EGLE with the opportunity to team up with Great Lakes Tissue.

Julie LaFond, plant engineer and general project manager at Great Lakes Tissue, said Great Lakes Tissue was looking to improve its internal recycling rate. The company brings in “100% recycled material, things that could potentially end up in landfill,” LaFond said, and turns it into toilet paper or other tissue products.

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