Return to AET Homepage
About UsEnvironmentally Preferred PaperThe Science of ECFReports and Communication ResourcesContact UsMembersRegulatory and Market NewsResponsible Care
Join our Listserv


March 6, 1995

Contact: Noreen Figueroa

With Dioxin Done, Future Of Southeast Pulp And Paper Industry Is Clear:
Elemental Chlorine-Free Bleaching to Lead the Way

(March 6, 1995, Amelia Island, FL) -- Leading scientists at the pulp and paper industry's International Non-Chloiine Bleaching Conference March 5-9 in Amelia Island, FL, concluded today that Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) will dominate the future of US pulp manufacture. For Totally Chlorine-Free (TCF) processes, once heralded as the superior alternative, the future is dim.

The science is overwhelming. In pulp bleaching, switching to the ECF process, based on chlorine dioxide, solves the problem of dioxin. The effects of the switch, which is rapidly taking place throughout the industry, are seen in ecosystems downstream of bleached pulp mills. Since 1991, nine fish advisories for dioxin have been lifted in the Southeast, and only one advisory remains in Florida, according to US EPA data.

"ECF is the answer to the riddle of dioxin. And we now know that TCF alternatives are no better for water quality," said Doug Pryke, Executive Director of the Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET). "Even the world's largest manufacturer of TCF pulp and paper has admitted the same." However, more doubts about TCF are quickly surfacing. New evidence shows that TCF manufacture is not efficient in terms of wood use, which means TCF manufacture requires increased forest harvesting. "If all of North America's bleached pulp mills were TCF, an additional 100 million mature trees would be required for today's pulp and paper market," added Pryke.

The marketplace dramatically reflects the science findings. According to independent reports complied by AET, ECF manufacture has grown by more than 1,200 percent since 1990 to capture one-third of the US market. TCF production remains far below one percent

"For Florida and the rest of the Southeast, this conference marks a turning point. The region's pulp and paper industry has staked its future on ECF," added Pryke. "In terms of environmental performance, market trends, and economic security, you couldn't have placed a better bet."

AET is an international association of 18 forest products manufacturers and chemical companies dedicated to advancing the environmental perfon-nance of the pulp and paper industry. For more information, interviews or for copies of any of the studies mentioned above, please contact Ms. Figueroa.