WEST LINN, OR, Jan. 7, 2020 (Press Release) -Willamette Falls Paper Company Inc. announces a new grade offering as part of the reHARVEST™ family of products. reHARVEST is now available as natural kraft paper. Initially, Willamette Falls paper will be producing natural kraft paper using a minimum of 30% agricultural fibers, in this case, wheat straw. Natural kraft paper uses include flexible packaging applications such as paper bags, pouches, and poly-coating basestocks.
The reHARVEST natural kraft paper met typical bag strength tests and have been successfully converted and printed in trials. An additional benefit is that the bags offer a bright golden color with no fiber bleaching, a unique attribute of the straw fiber. The natural kraft paper is FDA compliant and will be available in 30# to 70# basis weights (49 to 114 GSM). Willamette Falls Paper has reconfigured the mill to dedicate one machine to brown grades and two machines to manufacture both high-bright coated and uncoated legacy grades. Commercial production of the natural kraft grades is estimated to start at the end of January.
“With so many states, like Oregon, working to reduce the use of plastic bags, we are excited to be able to offer a more sustainable choice in paper and packaging,” says Phil Harding, Director of Technology and Sustainability at Willamette Falls Paper Company. “Using straw pulp in our production – from an agricultural waste product – offers a unique opportunity to add an innovative solution for sustainable paper options. The mill has a long-term goal of developing natural kraft grades with up to 100% straw fiber.”
Package Containers, Inc. is proud to partner with Willamette Falls Paper Company converting the reHARVEST paper into their paper bag line. “We believe the reHARVEST paper can take our already industry-leading sustainability story to even greater heights,” said Dave DeMots, CEO of Package Containers, Inc. “Willamette Falls Paper has created a paper that not only meets industry needs but also breaks new ground using agricultural waste wheat straw as a fiber source. Retailers and consumers are asking for products that offer a lower environmental impact and this is a major step toward that objective.”
ABOUT AGRICULTURAL FIBERS & WASTE
Recent process technology developments have enabled the production of high-quality papermaking fibers from wheat straw agricultural waste. What was previously removed from the field as waste or even burned is now collected, pulped into high-quality papermaking fiber and available for use in paper products. The pulping is done at a recently commissioned wheat straw pulping plant that generates zero effluent and zero solid waste. The use of this agricultural fiber reduces field burning and reduces pressures on our managed forests. The wheat straw fiber has a lower carbon footprint and uses less energy than conventional wood pulping processes.
ABOUT WILLAMETTE FALLS PAPER COMPANY, INC.
Willamette Falls Paper Company is a newly formed company that owns and operates a mill in West Linn, Oregon. The company is a non-integrated mill, capable of making coated and uncoated grades with an annual capacity of 260,000 tons. The Willamette Falls Paper Company looks to be an innovative leader in environmental paper production, including the use of agricultural fibers as an alternative pulp source.