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What Makes Up Copy Paper?

What Makes Up Copy Paper?

  • Tuesday, 25 June 2024
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What Makes Up Copy Paper?

Whether you use it to print letters and reports or keep it in the corner of your desk to jot down ideas, copy paper is one of the most common office supplies. But what makes up this ubiquitous item that’s so essential to business? It’s more complicated than you might think.

Paper is made from a fibrous substance called cellulose, which comes from trees and other plants. It's diluted in water to form a pulp, and then the fibers are refined to make them whiter and brighter. The pulp is then combined with other materials, such as bleach, to get the right consistency for making copy paper. It’s also saturated with starch to strengthen it and remove stray fibers. It’s then dried and pressed to ensure that each sheet has the same weight and thickness.

The paper industry varies in its production methods and processes, but the end result is similar—light, white, and durable sheets of paper. Copy paper can be found in a variety of forms, from construction to cardstock to photo paper. However, it’s often considered “copy” paper if it's used in copiers and laser printers for printing texts and images. Some common sizes for copy paper include 8.5" x 11," which is commonly known as "letter size." This size is the most popular and is used to print many documents and is the standard for most everyday printing needs.

Other types of copy paper can be found in stores that sell office supplies and are usually labeled with the name of the paper type. For example, there’s multipurpose copy paper that can be used in both laser and inkjet printers. Then there’s glossy copy paper that’s coated with a polymer to give it a smooth sheen. It’s used for printed photographs and other images, but it has a longer dry time than regular paper so it’s best to only print gloss papers on laser printers.

In North America, the production of copy and printer paper churns out more than 1.2 trillion sheets every year. That’s twice as much paper as was produced in 1985, when visionaries were calling for a paperless society. The availability of affordable printers explains the increase.

Copy and printer paper is typically sold in reams of 500 sheets, with 10 reams contained in a case. A ream is equivalent to five pounds, which translates into 100 sheets per pound. The average cost of a ream of copy paper is about $5.

International Paper, the world’s largest maker of copy and printer paper, offers a wide range of options for offices, from basic 20-pound copy paper to Hammermill-branded color copy paper in a variety of brightness levels (80 and 98 brightness, letter, legal, tabloid, and ledger sizes). There are also several pastel colors available, including blue, canary, buff, cream, golden rod, gray, green, ivory, orchid, lilac, salmon, pink, and turquoise. The company also makes a line of recycled-content products, such as Hammermill Fore MP in a 20-pound weight and 30 percent recycled content, and in letter, legal, tabloid, and ledger sheets.

Tags:210mmx297mm copy paper

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