Can Stone Paper get recycled with paper? Can it be recycled with Plastic? Would the HDPE content contaminate any of the streams?
A: At the current low market volume for stone paper, compared to more than 400 million metric ton of paper in the recycling stream; yes, our stone paper can be put into a paper recycling bin. Relatively speaking our Stone Paper volume is currently not even 1/10 of one percent of the global paper market.
But at high volumes, meaning when our paper gains a significant portion of the market share, it is recommended to get recycled with no. 2 recycling products.
At the current volume, when our stone paper is recycled with regular paper, the HDPE portion will not contaminate the stream due to the extremely low percentage and non-toxic HDPE characteristic relative to the whole paper recycling stream.
In the current paper recycling bins, there are lots of plastic films on top of most prints (magazine covers, catalogs, brochures, business cards, boxes, packaging, store bags, etc…). Those plastic films made with polypropylene or even LDPE are normally applied as a protective layer on top of most printed items to protect and lock/settle the ink.Those protective plastic films are more toxic than the low-level non-toxic HDPE content in Stone Paper.
According to City of Toronto website below, currently most of the items which even contain toxic plastic protective layers are considered acceptable in the recycling bins, let alone non-toxic HDPE content of Stone Paper.
The recycling process with plastic doesn't get contaminated with Stone Paper since HDPE is non-toxic and it is recycled with no. 2 plastic recycling items.
In terms of the calcium carbonate content mixed in plastic or paper recycling bins, this substance doesn't contaminate any of those materials streams since calcium carbonate is considered a natural element of earth and is usually used as filler in both paper and plastic industries.