Paper Recycling in Pakistan

recycling in Pakistan

Environmental sustainability, going green, opting for clean choices, and saving the Earth are some of the quite hot topics since the past few years. With increased information and knowledge, more people are aware of their surroundings and environment. Saving the environment and working towards a clean and safe environment has become necessary because of depleting resources and increased pollution.

Recycling paper is one such step that can be taken to help save the environment from further damage. Every year millions of trees are chopped down, and vast land areas are turned barren because of chopping down the trees for wood. Wood is the main ingredient for paper, and because of the ever-increasing demand for paper, recycling paper has become a necessity.

Why is Paper Recycling Important in Pakistan?

Pakistan is a developing country and faces severe crises over several issues. Pollution is one such problem; the pollution level in Pakistan is increasing at an alarming rate and must be catered to. Paper recycling Pakistan should be amongst the first and easy steps that can be taken to control pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling paper is an easy and cheap process; therefore, it can be opted for by many, which will help save the country’s environment. 

By recycling only 1000 kilograms of paper, one can save on around 4MW of energy, 1500-1700 liters of oil, 30,000 liters of water, 20 trees that can help absorb about 120 kgs of carbon dioxide, and huge areas of landfills. All this can be achieved by only recycling a small portion of the used paper; if the percentage of recycled paper increases, better results can be obtained. 

Which Paper can be Recycled?

Free Vector | Waste paper recycling concept with cardboard newspapers and bag realistic
Source: Freepik

Most of the paper we use in daily life, businesses, and offices can be recycled and used again. Packaging papers, corrugated cardboard, packaging, newspapers, cards, etc., all sorts of paper can be and must be recycled to save our planet. Papers that are taken for recycling are classified into grades according to the length of the fibers. Low-grade papers have smaller fibers, while high-grade papers have longer fibers.

Lower-grade paper like newspaper cannot be recycled many times, as the fibers no longer remain of sufficient length needed for the paper to be able to get recycled. High-grade paper like printing papers have longer fibers and can be recycled five to seven times until the fiber length is no longer long enough. Virgin fiber can be added to the recycling process at such a stage.

What is the Recycling Process?

Paper recycling Pakistan is easy and consists of a few steps only. Almost the same steps are to be followed for large-scale and small-scale paper recycling processes. A change in a few steps can occur depending on the type of paper being used. Let’s have a look at the basic recycling process:

Step 1: Collecting paper and Transportation:

The first step in the recycling process is gathering and collecting paper for recycling from different resources like houses, offices, commercial outlets, business areas, and trash bins. Usually, the recyclers can get their hands on vast piles of paper from paper stores, commercial places, scrap paper yards, dumping grounds, and paper collecting bins installed on curbsides. Paper gathered from different resources is collected in large recycling bins. These large recycling bins are then transferred to a recycling facility where they can be further processed for the process. The huge dumps of gathered paper are of different types, quality, and grades and must be sorted, which will happen in the next step.

Step 2: Sorting the Collected Paper:

Grouping similar paper types and sorting out the papers is essential for efficient recycling. Papers are classified according to their quality and grade, the structure of the paper, and the surface treatment that the paper has undergone. Paper that cannot be recycled is also discarded. Any unnecessary material is also removed from the papers. The sorted paper is measured for quality and quantity for further actions to be taken. Classifying the paper based on quality is vital as it will determine the recycling process it can undergo and the recycled products that can be obtained from the paper.

Step 3: Shredding and Pulping:

After the sorting process, the paper proceeds for shredding, where large shredders cut down the paper into fine bits, which can then be mixed with chemicals and water. This helps in breaking down the fiber of the paper. The water, chemicals, and small pieces of paper are combined to form a slurry, and this process is called the pulping process. The slurry is heated, which helps it turn into a pulp. 

The chemicals used in this process are hydrogen peroxide, sodium silicate, sodium hydroxide, and caustic soda that help break down the fibers and turn them into pulp which is the raw material used for further processing. The pulp is passed through several screens and centrifuges to remove any contaminations and unwanted residues.

Step 4: De-Inking:

This is when inks and dyes from the paper being recycled are removed to produce cleaner and whiter material to make the final product. Chemicals like hydrogen peroxide are added to bleach and increase the whiteness of the pulp. Some other dye can also be added at this stage if the final product required needs to be of some color. 

For enhancing the quality of the final product, pulp from virgin fiber can be added to strengthen and improve the quality of the pulp, which will be used for making high-quality paper. After the de-inking process is over, the refined and enhanced pulp is passed onto the paper machine for the final product.

Step 5: Drying:

The pulp in the previous step was 99% water which needs to be dried up in this step. The pulp is dumped onto rollers, where the pulp’s concentration changes to 50 % water and 50% pulp. The pulp is then passed on to heated rollers to drain the pulp’s moisture completely. New chemicals and materials can also be added at this stage to obtain different desired products like coated paper or extra-strong paper, etc. 

After passing through heated rollers, the pulp solidifies and is then passed through steam-heated cylinders to produce long rolls of paper sheets. The huge paper rolls can then be cut into different sizes as per the need and transported to shops, offices, and businesses. 


Paper recycling in Pakistan is the need of the hour and is an easy step that can be taken without much investment and space requirement. It is a great way to save on trees, landfill spaces, and resources like water, oil, and energy. Using recycled paper should be an initiative taken everywhere in Pakistan to encourage and promote recycling Paper in Pakistan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *