Willamette Falls Paper Company, Inc. has made its first successful trial of non-wood paper grades using pulp from local agricultural waste – producing both coated and uncoated grades using 10% non-wood pulp fiber. Additional machine and press trials are ongoing to refine the paper properties and specifications. However, preliminary outcomes from press room trials and initial customer feedback show very promising results. The mill expects to announce the commercial production of coated and uncoated grades by mid-November. “We want to be the first coated paper mill to offer non-wood grades made in the U.S. and sourced with local agricultural waste, in this case straw,” says Phil Harding, Director of Technology and Sustainability at Willamette Falls Paper Company. “Our long-term focus is sustainable papermaking, and successful trials using non-wood raw materials is another step toward this goal.”
Working with several key suppliers, including Trinseo, Willamette Falls is confident it is one step closer to developing both uncoated and coated grades that will have similar characteristics to the mill’s standard grades. “Trinseo is pleased to partner with Willamette Falls Paper Company in the development of the first domestic non-wood containing coated papers. Finding innovative ways to increase the use of sustainable materials is a critical focus for us, the industry, and modern society, so we’re thrilled to continue our support in their development and commercialization of this new product,” said Todd Crook, North America Latex Binders business director for Trinseo.
Willamette Falls Paper Company is a newly formed company that owns and operates a mill in West Linn, Oregon. The company is a non-integrated mill, capable of making coated and uncoated grades with an annual capacity of 260,000 tons.