Environmentally friendly process
GASCOGNE PAPER: AN INTEGRATED PULP AND PAPER MILL
The production of kraft paper is an entirely closed-cycle process. All chemicals and materials resulting from the process are recovered and recycled, and waste is used as a source of energy. This entirely closed-cycle system has major benefits, both environmental and economic.
To maintain the wood's natural colour and to reduce the use of chemicals to a minimum, the wood pulp made at the Mimizan site is not bleached.
MANAGEMENT AND RECYCLING OF MANUFACTURING WASTE
As part of a closed-cycle process, all materials produced by the process are collected and recovered: additives and processing products, cellulose fibres etc.
Paper that does not meet quality standards and manufacturing waste are recovered and recycled in full. Where the final application allows, certain specific products in the natural kraft paper range include a significant proportion of fibres recycled from internal production waste. The long fibres characteristic of maritime pine from the Landes de Gascogne, in their virgin and unbleached form, are particularly well suited to recycling, and lose few of their mechanical properties when recycled.
ENERGY AND WATER CONSERVATION
Energy recovery and efforts to limit water consumption are major priorities, with the result that the production site is increasingly self-sufficient.
With its closed-cycle process and its recovery boiler, the paper mill is almost self-sufficient as regards steam, and produces almost 50% of its electricity needs.
Today, water is one of our most precious resources. This is why we are constantly reducing the paper mill's water consumption, and why we return all our wastewater into the natural environment after treatment.
CONTROLLING AND REDUCING EMISSIONS
The Mimizan paper mill spends more than €2m per year on protecting its surrounding environment. Improving air quality is one of the main priorities of Gascogne Paper's environmental protection investments. In terms of air quality, the mill more than meets national and international standards, since emissions have been cut to a quarter of the authorised maximum level.
modern, high-performance electronic filters prevent the emission of dust into the atmosphere and limit odour emissions resulting from wood pulping operations.
installation of a washing press to reduce effluents, rigorous control of water throughout the production cycle, wastewater treatment station.
WASTEWATER TREATMENT STATION
Effluents are treated on two independent lines.
One line treats effluent from the wood, pulp, energy and recovery sectors
One line treats effluent from the paper machine sector
In addition, we are conducting a unique experiment in woodland irrigation using some of the paper mill's effluents across a 25-hectare area of forest, applying an innovative, simple and highly effective technique.
The paper industry is constantly reducing its emissions and resource consumption.
In 1972, the French paper industry was the first to make a formal commitment to the government to control and reduce its emissions. Since then, this commitment has resulted in paper mill discharges being reduced by 80%. Similarly, suspended matter and oxidisable matter indicators have fallen sharply since 1973.
Paper mills have also considerably reduced their energy consumption per tonne of production. In the last decade, total energy consumption has risen by only 6%, while production of paper and cardboard has increased by 31%.
At the same time, water consumption – the most important indicator of environmental protection – has fallen by 82% per tonne of production.