Paper is a product that is often used for writing, hygiene, packaging, and other purposes. White paper especially writing/printing paper and tissue paper are often preferred by consumers. The white color often gives a clean and safe perception to the public. The fact is, not. The white paper has to go through a bleaching process that involves various stages with several different types of bleaching agents. In addition, brightening materials such as fluorescent agents are added to enhance the brightness of the paper.
Bleaching agents and fluorescent agents found on paper are not only harmful to consumers but also the waste from the bleaching process during pulp processing impacts the environment, through air pollution and water pollution. People in developed countries such as Japan, China, and European countries have intensified the use of paper without bleaching or partial bleaching. Paper products without bleaching or partial bleaching are increasingly found in the Malaysian market. Hopefully, Malaysians will be more supportive of paper products without bleaching or partially bleaching in the future.
Dr Boon Jia Geng