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Recycled paper gains foothold in insulation market

United States – Although fibreglass still commands 94% of the US insulation market, a cellulose alternative is making an ever bigger impact. And GreenFiber, a North Carolina-based manufacturer of natural fibre insulation, is now incorporating 85% recycled paper fibre into its products.

A wide range of material – from newsprint and paper towels to pizza boxes and pre-consumer toilet paper – are treated at the company’€™s eight facilities, which handle a total of 350 tonnes of recycled paper each day. After grinding the paper and paperboard, fire retardants are introduced.

Apart from offering a sustainable alternative to fibreglass, the paper insulation significantly reduces manufacturing costs, states Randall Maxey, Maintenance Manager at GreenFiber’€™s Phoenix plant. He points out that ‘€˜heavy chemicals’€™ are not required to ensure a fire-proof end result; the ammonium sulfate and borate used are sufficient to increase fire resistance by as much as 57% when compared to fibreglass insulation.

GreenFiber hopes the insulation with an eco-friendly edge will prove to be a major competitor in the building products industry, thus reinventing the cellulose insulation market that has been around for over 40 years. ‘€˜More people are beginning to recognise the cellulose insulation industry,’€™ notes Cliff Roberts, Recycling Coordinator for GreenFiber.

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