This information reflects our best understanding of product composition in 2021.
This Common Product considers old newspapers, which are commonly separated from other paper during recycling. Newsprint contains cellulose fiber, processing aids, and other additives. It also commonly contains lignin, which occurs naturally in...
This Common Product considers old newspapers, which are commonly separated from other paper during recycling. Newsprint contains cellulose fiber, processing aids, and other additives. It also commonly contains lignin, which occurs naturally in wood pulp but is removed in most paper manufacturing due to its tendency to cause the product to discolor when exposed to sunlight and oxygen. Newspapers contain black and colored inks as well. Historically, inks have been based on petroleum oils. Many newspapers now use soy oil, particularly for colored inks, but petroleum-based oils are still in use. Because paper is prone to absorbing chemicals, contaminants may also be introduced during use or waste management. According to the American Forest & Paper Association, in 2019, 60.9% of the newsprint waste generated in the U.S. was recycled, down from and all-time high of 77.3% in 2017. They cite declining exports as contributing to the reduced rate of recycling. The total amount of newsprint used annually has also been declining, with 4.4 million tons of newsprint supply in the U.S. in 2019, compared to 19 million tons in 2000. Newspapers can be recycled into new newsprint paper, light card containers like egg cartons, tissues, and cellulose insulation materials. If recycled back into paper products, newsprint can be recycled up to four times, the paper fibers disintegrating over time and requiring the addition of virgin fibers. This Common Product describes substances identified as commonly present in newspapers and/or found in tests of post-consumer newspapers and newsprint advertisements. This is not a complete list of all the potential chemicals that may be found in this recycling stream. Potential chemicals of concern identified in this research include orthophthalates, heavy metals, mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH), phenols (such as alkylphenols and bisphenols), and PCBs. More information on potential sources of these chemicals is included in the notes for each individual chemical.