By-products and waste are valuable raw materials
The Finnish forest industry is strongly developing the utilisation of its by-products and waste materials . The forest industry is one of the best manufacturing branches in the utilisation of various waste types and continues to invest significantly into making its processes more material efficient. The aim is to manufacture products from a lesser amount of resources.
The Finnish pulp and paper industry - one of the biggest pulp and paper producers in the world - creates some 140,000 tonnes of landfill waste annually. Of this, about 20% is ashes and 40% third green liquor dregs, which are created in the chemical cycles of pulp mills. The forest industry already utilises over 90% of its wastewater treatment plant sludge and fibre and paste sludge. The deinking sludge, which is created in the processing of recovered paper, is recovered totally. These are all utilised as raw material or in the generation of energy.
Productising waste material and enhancing the efficiency of its utilisation are being studied broadly by the forest industry. Research topics include utilising ash in the construction industry and land construction. Ash is a significant raw material for the concrete industry in Central Europe. About 85% of the ash generated by the forest industry in Finland is utilised in land construction and fertilising.
The utilisation of by-products and waste materials is still a fairly new endeavour and needs to be studied further. In order to reduce the amount of final disposal, it is essential that new possible uses for waste types created in production are examined and that legislation is in place to enable utilisation. In addition, cooperation between different actors in the utilisation chain is required.