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June 10, 1994

Contact: Noreen Figueroa

Alternative To Chlorine Takes US Pulp And Paper Markets By Storm

(June 10, 1994, Washington, D.C.) A new market study reveals that the US pulp and paper industry is rapidly converting to ECF (Elemental Chlorine-Free) technology, an alternative to chlorine that further protects human and environmental health, and is used to make the highest-quality recyclable paper products.

"ECF bleaching, based on the radically different compound chlorine dioxide, is sweeping through the pulp markets," said Doug Pryke, executive director for the Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET). "It's a cost-effective pollution prevention technology that the EPA supports as an industry standard."

In the US alone, ECF pulp production has grown by 1,300 percent since 1990. Fueling this growth is recognition of ECF's superior environmental performance. ECF solves the problem of dioxin, thus improving water quality and fish health. This is important to sports anglers and people who depend on fishing for their economic livelihood. In addition, ECF bleaching dramatically cuts the emission of chloroform, improving air quality for mill workers and their communities.

ECF pulp is also essential for today's highest-quality recyclable paper products - for instance, magazines that require bright white, extremely thin, and very strong paper for high-speed printing presses.

"There are no barriers to ECF's future growth," Pryke added. "By the end of 1994, ECF pulp production will total 7 million tons or about 25 percent of its respective US market."

AET is an international association of forest products companies and chemical manufacturers dedicated to improving the environmental performance of the pulp and paper industry.