FutureMark Makes New Strides in Reducing Environmental Impact of Paper Production

Environmental coated paper manufacturer leads industry in adopting greener coatings and innovating waste paper reuse

Alsip, Ill. – March 29, 2010 – Today FutureMark™ Paper Company, the only North American manufacturer capable of producing up to 100 percent recycled coated paper for magazines and catalogs, announced two new initiatives to lower the environmental impact of paper production. The company is now using an environmentally sustainable binding compound made from corn starch in its paper coatings instead of petroleum-based latex. Furthermore, FutureMark has developed an innovative product that reuses the short paper fibers, inks and coating minerals extracted from recycled paper as a soil nutrient.

“Making recycled paper in an environmentally friendly way has long been a point of pride for FutureMark and our employees,” said Steve Silver, President & CEO of FutureMark Paper Company. “With these two advancements, we’re further reducing the environmental impact of our manufacturing processes, while returning nutrients to the earth and making incremental improvements to our very high-quality recycled paper.”

FutureMark Moves to Biolatex Coatings

FutureMark is now using EcoSynthetix® EcoSphere® biolatex® binding agents in its paper coating formula instead of the traditional chemical binders derived from petroleum that’s used by most of the paper industry. FutureMark is the first North American paper manufacturer to incorporate this new biolatex coating ingredient, derived from 100 percent renewable feedstock, in its commercial production process. FutureMark estimates the switch will result in reduced carbon emissions equal to taking 8,000 cars off the road for one year. The company expects to achieve an incremental reduction in carbon emissions from the transport of EcoSphere biolatex binder, which is shipped as a dry product. Compared to conventional petroleum-based binders, which are shipped pre-mixed with water, EcoSphere biolatex binder is far more efficient to transport, taking up less truck space and dramatically lowering fuel and shipping costs.

“It’s really a win on all fronts – for the environment, for our customers and for our business,” said Steve Smith, FutureMark’s Vice President of Operations, who oversees the company’s advanced paper production process. “By using this innovative starch-based binder from EcoSynthetix in our coating formula, we expect to reduce our environmental impact and costs, while preserving the excellent brightness, opacity and gloss that customers have come to expect of FutureMark’s paper products.”

FutureMark Develops Agricultural Lime Alternatives

Marking another milestone in its efforts to reduce waste and reuse resources, FutureMark has developed FutureMark High-Calcium Paper Lime (HCPL), a soil nutrient made from reclaimed paper. FutureMark “washes” more than 18 semi trucks of waste paper each working day, extracting short paper fibers, inks, fillers and coating minerals from recyclable paper fibers. The extracted materials – almost 30,000 tons per year – are high in calcium and have nutritive properties similar to agricultural lime, which is a common fertilizer supplement.

“FutureMark HCPL is our way of returning the nutrients found in paper back to the soil,” said FutureMark Technical Services Manager Glen Johnson, who oversees the company’s environmental sustainability and reporting programs. “Our paper lime is safe and effective. It reduces the need for limestone mining and puts to beneficial use a nutrient-rich resource that would otherwise go to landfills.”

Like conventional agricultural lime, FutureMark HCPL can be used to balance soil pH, as well as to enrich soil with a high concentration of calcium, an essential plant nutrient. FutureMark HCPL is a lower-cost, environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional liming agents, which must be mined from the earth. The product culminates from ten years of proprietary process development and three years of research and testing. FutureMark HCPL has undergone extensive chemical analyses and rigorous safety tests by independent labs and government agencies in two states. It has been approved for agricultural use in the states of Illinois and Indiana and is available through Prairie Lime of DeMotte, Ind., at (219) 987-8340.

Download full article

March 29, 2010