Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New Roll Wrappers

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New Roll Wrappers

Article excerpt

Repulpable newsprint roll wraps are readily available. Now, if American newspapers would only start using them.

That seems to be the problem for manufacturers of the wraps, who are successfully selling them to companies that export them to Japan, but aren't selling them to American clients yet.

Repulpable wraps are a premium product that costs about twice as much as traditional wraps. "American publishers aren't prepared to pay any upcharge, and the mills can't absorb the additional cost," says Doug Headland, business development manager for St. Laurent Paperboard, the Montreal company that makes Ecowrap, one of the repulpable wraps on the market.

Few papers have even tried the reputable wraps, yet one that did was suitably impressed. "Our feeling is that it had some advantages," says J. William Cox, senior vice president of the Dallas Morning News. "It helps contain and control moisture levels, and in cases where we needed to store paper for more than a few months, we think it might maintain a longer shelf life."

The Morning News tested Bell Barrier Wrap, a Bell Packaging product, for a few months last year. But it hasn't incorporated the product into daily use, in part because it didn't know if the product was commercially available. In fact, Bell Packaging, which was sold recently to Visy Industries of Conyers. Ga., has taken the product off the market temporarily, according to executive vice president Chip Carroll. It may reintroduce it soon.

In the meantime, a number of other companies have introduced similar products, including St. Laurent Paperboard. Fiberlam of Doswell, Va., Fortifiber of Lake Tahoe. Nev., and Mosinee Converted Products of Columbus, Wis. They claim their repulpable wraps meet or exceed all the properties of the traditional wax or polylaminated wraps and are recyclable. Used wraps are no longer landfilled but can be sold to waste paper dealers for more than $100 a ton and then sent back to mills for recycling.

"It's been a long time coming." says Michael Johnson, business unit manager of Fortifiber, which makes Fortiwrap, a repulpable wrap introduced this year. Johnson, who's been in the industry for years, says traditional wraps are coated with polyethylene or petroleum-based wax that serves as a barrier to protect newsprint rolls from moisture vapor and high humidity that causes welts that make the paper unsuitable for printing. …

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