Fiber giant targets contaminated loads

Fiber giant targets contaminated loads

Georgia-Pacific, one of the world’s largest paper-product manufacturers, is working to scale up a patented technology to recover material from food-soiled packaging.

Georgia-Pacific (GP) plans to launch a demonstration plant for its Juno technology at its Toledo, Ore. containerboard factory, near the city of Newport on the Oregon coast. The project and Juno technology were first announced in a May 31 email to local leaders and GP partners.

“This is a new, innovative process we’ve been working on for a while,” Julie Turner Davis, director of public affairs and communications for GP Packaging and Cellulose, told Resource Recycling. “We are excited that we are making good progress on it.”

The Juno technology isn’t focused on bales of residential mixed paper, for which there are constrained end markets after China decided to halt imports. Instead, the technology is aimed at difficult fiber streams, such as paper food packaging from commercial sources, including airports, fast food restaurants, stadiums, amusement parks and others, Davis said. Paper products from those sources often include coatings, wet-strength chemicals and food residue, all of which inhibit recycling.

“What we’re looking at is really a source that today, for all those reasons, is destined to go direct to the landfill,” she said.

Davis said the project isn’t fully funded yet, and the company is still working through the permitting process. But if successfully scaled up, GP would look to expand the technology to other sites across the country.