In the US, ECF production is poised to capture nearly one-third of the market in 1995. Since 1990, ECF pulp production has grown by nearly 800 percent, with this year's production a 43 percent jump over the 1994 figure. In contrast, US TCF (Totally Chlorine-Free) pulp production remains negligible, still short of one-half of one percent of the market.
"ECF is the favored way to go," said Doug Pryke, AET's Executive Director. "It's the technology wave the industry will ride well into the twenty-first century."
ECF bleaching is an advancement in pulp and paper production that further protects human and environmental health. According to EPA data, eleven states in the US have removed dioxin advisories on 15 waterbodies downstream of pulp mills since 1991. This is important to sports anglers and people who depend on fishing for their economic livelihood.
"ECF is not only pollution-prevention," said Pryke. "As the market figures demonstrate, ECF is also a cost effective way to manufacture the highest quality paper products."
ECF's current rate of growth has assured it top honors worldwide -- grabbing a 40 percent share of the world market. As the study shows, TCF is no more than a specialty product, with a niche only in Northern Europe. TCF is struggling to hold onto barely 7 percent of the world market.
"TCF water quality is no better than ECF," added Pryke; "but we now know that TCF manufacture places an increased demand on scarce forest resources and that paper made this way may not recycle as well as ECF products do."
AET is an international association of chemical manufacturers and forest product companies dedicated to improving the environmental performance of the pulp and paper industry.