NC State
BioResources
Hubbe, M. A. (2016)."Paper or plastic? Yes, but not as a mixture," BioRes. 11(3), 5656-5657.

Abstract

As expressed by the chorus lyrics of a song by Dan Einbender, “it really isn’t garbage ‘til you mix it all together. It really isn’t garbage ‘til you throw it away. Separate your paper, plastic, compost, glass and metal. Then you get to use it all another day.” It’s worth paying attention to these lyrics once again in the face of yet another type of product that is starting to show up in stores. Extruded sheets of polyethylene (no. 2 plastic) with as much as 80% ground calcium carbonate content are being sold as “paper”. Calcium carbonate is widely used as a component of real paper. However, it rubs me the wrong way when the word “paper” is being used to refer to something that has no fibers in it and is not formed on a screen and dried. My more serious concern is that such materials, if they become widely used, have the potential to contaminate paper recycling operations.


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