The pulp and paper industry has faced many challenges over the last 40 years. In the mid-80s dioxin was found in bleach plant effluent streams and concerns about the northern spotted owl, an endangered species, threatened to limit access to millions of acres of forest land in the Pacific Northwest. Once identified, dioxin releases were soon reduced to non-detectable levels using technology, science, and industry-wide collaboration. The manufacturing methods and technologies developed to resolve that issue are still practiced today and were written into the Clean Water Act. Wildlife research shows sustainable forestry practices create favorable habitat conditions for the northern spotted owl. In both issues, applied science played major roles in developing solutions, unfortunately, science was unable to address the major global capacity alignment issues the industry would face starting in the 90s. Since the late 1990s, North America’s pulp and paper industry has experienced significant changes and mill closures. In the USA, 117 mills closed from 2000 to 2012. In a more telling statistic, Maine had over 100 paper mills in 1906 but only six in 2017.
Pulp and paper biorefineries produce paper and other important products, renewable energy, and fulfill a major role in helping forest managers keep our forests healthy. Paper is an important aspect of modern society and fulfills several critical purposes: communications, sanitation, medical supplies, shipping, packaging, and sanitary containers for food and beverage products. As online shopping’s popularity increases, so does the need for low-cost cardboard shipping materials that are recyclable and environmentally friendly. This tells us that pulp and paper biorefineries are here to stay and will require continued innovation in technology and products.
For over 25 years, Lee Enterprises Consulting has been assisting companies and investors with issues relating to bioenergy, biofuels, biomaterials and chemicals, biotechnologies, and feedstocks. With over 150 consultants, we have the diverse expertise and geographical reach to assist in virtually any bioeconomy project worldwide. These seasoned professionals average over 30 years of industry experience. Our ability to assemble these professionals into multidisciplinary teams allows us to fully integrate the technical, scientific, and regulatory aspects of a project, and combine them with years of hands-on experience. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. You will note that most of our experts are also available for ancillary engagements and advice, for specialty engagements like serving as expert witnesses in litigation matters. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.