Here’s a film made by Sappi (formerly South African Pulp and Paper Industries Ltd.) which shows the early stages of paper-making rather well. This mill is producing specialized cellulose, also called dissolving wood pulp, which it supplies to other mills. Specialized cellulose is used in the making of cellophane, viscose, and rayon, as well as a surprising array of other products which the commentator will tell you about towards the end of this five-minute video.

For recyclers this will show you that the inner bags in cereal boxes and other glossy papers which you might mistake for plastic, are in fact made from paper fiber and should be recycled as such. (This does not include Saran wrap/Cling film, which really is made of plastics.) I hesitate to make any recommendations about rayon clothing: often other fibers are added at the spinning stage. This silent mixing of fibers is the reason why bulk “cotton” rags can no longer be used as a source of supply for our dollar bills.

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