How Is Paper Recycled?

Every day, tons of used paper are recycled into new, usable paper. Everything from notebook paper to cereal boxes to paper towels can be made by reusing fibers from old paper instead of by cutting down trees.

You can see how this is done with a home recycling project. You could use the paper you make in this project for a greeting card or an art project. Old, wrinkled notebook paper, used school papers, and junk mail are good choices to begin your recyclable paper project. Just make sure what you use is okay with your parents.

First, you will need to tear up the paper into small pieces and mix it with water. You could use an old blender, or you could mash it with a mortar and pestle. Keep mixing and adding more pieces of paper until the mixture looks like paste.

Next, make a sieve to drain the water out of the mixture. To make the sieve, take a piece of screen and tack it into a frame to hold it steady.

Now, add lots more water to your paper mixture. Mix it well, and then dip the sieve into the mixture to coat the screen with the paper mixture. Try to coat it evenly. Then press a sheet of plastic over the mixture and use it to start pressing out the water. Turn the whole thing upside down and remove the screen. Your new paper will continue to dry on the plastic sheet. When it is dry, you will have a sheet of soft, roughly textured new paper. Colors from the old papers may have added pretty flecks of color to your new paper.

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