Pollutions & Toxics

Pulp Pollution: Solutions

Pulp and paper production doesn't have to degrade the environment, air quality or human and wildlife health.

If we reduce the use of chlorinated bleaching chemicals in the pulp and paper manufacturing process, we can:

  • eliminate organochlorines in the liquid effluent
  • dramatically reduce the toxicity of solid waste
  • improve worker health and safety

Howe Sound Pulp & Paper mill, photo by Laurie MacBrideNew technologies exist for achieving these goals. But unfortunately, most mills in North America are not yet using these clean technologies.

What’s needed is a loud consumer demand for products that were created without using chlorine compounds. The production of pulp and paper does not have to mean inevitable damage to the environment.

When buying paper products for your home, office or other workplace, choose those that are either unbleached, or bleached without chlorine compounds.

Look for these labels to be sure you’re buying products that are truly chlorine free:

  • Totally chlorine free
  • Oxygen-bleached
  • 100% post-consumer recycled, not secondarily bleached
  • Unbleached

Watch out for "elemental chlorine free”: this is NOT made without chlorine compounds - it’s simply bleached with chlorine dioxide instead of chlorine gas. It's still harmful to the environment and our health.

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