Kimberly-Clark Makes Bet on Bamboo and Straw

A company plans to roll out a new line of tissues and paper towels this month that incorporates wheat straw and bamboo, which it hopes will provide a rapidly renewable and environmentally friendly source of fiber for its products while giving farmers a new market for what remains after the grain is harvested. Kimberly-Clark Professional, which manufactures Kleenex and Scott brand products, says the new GreenHarvest line will blend in 20 percent wheat straw, which it hopes will ease demand for the tree fiber and recycled paper it already uses. It will help conserve natural resources and address what the Dallas-based company expects will be dwindling supplies of recycled paper.
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Forest Products, Pulp, Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Industry Meets Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Discuss Legislative Proposals

Industry representatives, including companies like Domtar and Glatfelter, will share with lawmakers details of the industry’s positive economic impact on Pennsylvania and its commitment to sustainable manufacturing leadership under AF&PA’s Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative. “Paper and paper-based packaging facilities in Pennsylvania use sustainable manufacturing practices to make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “We want to make sure state energy and environmental legislation accounts for our industry’s sustainability leadership so we can continue generating good jobs and economic growth for Pennsylvania.”
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Sappi North America Maintains Lowest Carbon Footprint Among Domestic Paper Companies

Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, today unveiled its 2014 Sustainability Report, detailing its achievements in producing and delivering products in innovative and environmentally responsible ways. Notable successes cited in the fourth annual report for the company's operations in North America include: *The lowest reported carbon footprint among domestic competitors, thanks to a consistent focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy; *Reduced the amount of fiber and raw material waste in paper-making operations by 14 percent over the 2011 baseline, two years ahead of target; and, *Significant gains in its procurement of certified fiber, reaching its goal of 65 percent one year ahead of schedule.
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Skowhegan faces $2.2 million assessment question

The Skowhegan Board of Assessors on Friday postponed a decision on a request by Sappi Fine Paper North America to cut the property tax value of its paper mill on U.S. Route 201 by more than $137 million, which could cost the town $2.2 million in revenue. Three meetings have been held this month on the issue of the fair market value of the mill for tax purposes. Maine law provides that property taxes must be based on the market value of a property. Assessors, representatives of the mill, attorneys and Skowhegan’s assessor’s agent Bill Van Tuinen have addressed various methods of figuring out what the mill is worth. The sessions have been held behind closed doors due to laws protecting the confidentiality of some company information.
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United States ITC Trade Dispute Proceeds to Next Stage

The U.S. International Trade Commission voted today to continue the countervailing duty petition against Canadian SC paper producers, which will now be referred to the Department of Commerce for further investigation. Although Port Hawkesbury Paper and others presented clear evidence that importation of supercalendered paper from Canada did not cause injury to the U.S. market, the statutory threshold for petitioners at this preliminary stage is very low, and it would be highly unusual for any countervailing duty petition to be dismissed at this stage. The case will now receive a thorough examination over the coming months. Port Hawkesbury Paper will vigorously defend the claim, and remains convinced that it will be able to establish that no injury to the U.S. market has occurred as a result of alleged subsidies and that in fact there were no material subsidies. In the interim, PHP will continue to focus on increasing the efficiency of its mill and operations, and remains fully committed to reliably and efficiently producing the best SC paper in the market.
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Papermaker acts on Paperlinx debt

One paper manufacturer has already set aside a multimillion-pound provision to cover its likely bad debt with Paperlinx UK. At the same time, Arctic Paper has moved swiftly to secure alternative supply channels for the ranges previously sold via Paperlinx, which had been the exclusive supplier of G-Print sheets and Amber Graphic for the commercial market. The company has made a €3.7m (£2.7m) provision, which covers its total outstanding debt with the Paperlinx UK businesses that are now in administration with Deloitte.
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Norske Skog alters shift system at Saugbrugs SC paper mill in Norway (RISI)

Norske Skog has opted for more flexibility during public holidays with a new shift system at its 550,000 tonne/yr Saugbrugs supercalendered (SC) paper mill in Halden, Norway. Negotiations with employee representatives on the matter were finalized in March, a company spokesperson said. Norske Skog temporarily stopped production at the Saugbrugs mill during five days around Easter due to a lack of orders, the spokesperson confirmed.
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Burgo mulls 46 job cuts at Verzuolo LWC paper mill in Italy; workers announce strike (RISI)

Burgo plans to change the shift system from a continuous to a semi-continuous cycle on the 165,000 tonne/yr PM 8 at its Verzuolo lightweight coated (LWC) paper mill in northwestern Italy from June 1. The move may lead to 46 job cuts across all departments at the factory, according to a source at the Fistel-Cisl trade union. In response, the union called for a two hour strike at the start of each shift at the factory on April 7.
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