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How it’s Made

Many people are not aware of the process that goes into making everyday products such as toilet paper, envelopes, packaging paper or office paper, or how paper is recycled.

Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) partnered with GM Television to create a series of short videos for the popular How It’s Made YouTube channel. Our video series includes:

Paper sorting and grading

Few people are familiar with the paper recycling process, and know where our old cardboard boxes or used office paper go once they enter the collection system, either through a formal programme or informal waste collectors. Sorting and grading is the first stage in the paper recycling process. At Mpact’s Durban facility, it all begins at the weighbridge where materials are weighed before being off-loaded and graded. Each bale weights 1 000kg and Mpact produces up to 25 of them an hour.

Yesterday’s cardboard box, today’s paper bag

After paper is sorted into various grades, it heads off to be repulped. At Neopak’s Pretoria-based paper recycling mill, “waste” paper a new lease on life, again and again. All part of the circular economy of paper making and recycling.

How cardboard boxes are made

The team visits Corruseal to see how corrugated cardboard boxes are made. Cardboard boxes are an important part of everyday life, ensuring that products are protected during transport from factories or farms to supermarkets, or even directly to our homes with the advent of online shopping. Cardboard boxes are very recyclable.

How they make paperboard for cereal boxes and similar paper packaging

A peak inside Mondi’s Richard Mill where linerboard is made that will be eventually be converted into folding boxboard such as cereal boxes.

Press print

Although the world has shifted towards more digital forms of communicating, paper still plays a vital role in communication, learning, sharing information and advertising. For many of us, the product that springs to mind when we think about paper is office paper, that we use in our printers. The video takes viewers to Mondi Merebank mill in Durban where the company transform wood into a wonderfully white blank canvas for our thoughts and words.

How office paper is made from sugar cane waste

This video takes you to Sappi’s Stanger Mill in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal sugar cane fields where we can see how office paper is made from sugar cane waste, also known as bagasse.

How specialised cellulose is made from sustainably farmed trees

Visit the Sappi Saiccor Mill where woodfibre is processed into specialised cellulose or dissolving wood pulp. Dissolving wood pulp has a variety of uses, including textiles and sponges. Powdered cellulose is used as a safe additive in food stuffs, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

How lignosulphonates are made from the trees

The importance of lignin and its derivatives in a greener economy is growing. Lignosulphonates are a useful ingredient in many industrial and agricultural products. Find out how they are made at the Sappi Tugela mill in South Africa.

Baby Soft® toilet paper

Nothing will quite live up to the toilet paper apocalypse in March 2020 when shelves were void of this essential item when the pandemic created a surge of panic buying. However, toilet paper is something we take for granted. Each roll is the end result of a complex, ultra-high-speed manufacturing process that produces thousands of rolls every hour. The video takes the viewer through Kimberly-Clark’s large-scale production line that operates 24/7, every day of the year.

Pushing the envelope

Despite the demise of the postal service in South Africa, Merpak still makes millions of envelopes every day in different colours, shapes and sizes. Watch them be cut, punched, folded, glued, dried and made ready to carry your mail at a rate of 650 units a minute!

Forestry and Forest Products

Wood. We use it every day

Wood. We use it every day. In our homes, as paper, paper packaging, tissue, books, and so much more. This video shows us how responsibly produced wood and paper products enrich our lives, make our jobs easier, and our world more sustainable.

The people behind pulp and paper

Pulp and paper technology is a specialist field of chemical engineering that involves the conversion of raw materials such as wood or recycled paper into a pulp. Our industry also needs accountants, environmentalists, drivers, mechanics, communicators, marketers and sales people, and so on.

International Day of Biological Diversity

Forestry South Africa produced this video in celebration of International Day of Biological Diversity on 22 May. This video shares why we need to conserve biological diversity for future generations and explains the role of forestry as a multifunctional landscapes.

We are part of a greener, more sustainable future

Forestry South Africa highlights the role that forestry plays in a greener, more sustainable future. 

Mondi Zimele Agriculture SMME programme

In 2020 Mondi Zimele started an agriculture SMME (Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprise) programme to address the challenges of food insecurity and high unemployment. Watch this video to see some of the amazing work Mondi Zimele is doing!

Sappi WWF Water Stewardship Partnership

Securing Water for the Future : the Sappi WWF Water Stewardship Programme is aimed at improving the water security in the uMkhomazi catchment area, which forms part of  the Southern Drakensberg Strategic Water Source Area in KwaZulu-Natal.

Paper Myths, Busted

Busting paper myths

There are a number of myths about paper. And we want to bust them. Have you ever imagined your life without paper? That would mean a life without magazines, newspapers, and books, without a passport and the ability to travel, without cardboard to package and protect, without tissues and toilet paper. Even in the electronic age, paper products play an essential role in our daily lives.

Myths and realities by Antalis

This video by Antalis International shares some myths & reality about paper covering energy consumption compared with paper and print vs digital communication, recycling and forestry.

Paper Recycling Success Story

PAMSA Engineering News 2018

International Day of Forests – 2017

Research and Innovation

Go Beyond with PAMSA’s Masters of Engineering bursary programme

More than paper

Changing the value of waste

Arts and Crafts

South African moms get crafty with paper

Step Into a Miniature World of Animated Paper Wildlife