Paper Discovery Center in Appleton, Wisconsin, steps up outreach efforts to expand its audience, raise awareness of papermaking's broader aspects and continuing opportunities despite consolidation, says center official

Sandy Yang

Sandy Yang

Apr 6, 2012 – Industry Intelligence

LOS ANGELES , April 2, 2012 () –

The Paper Discovery Center in Appleton, Wisconsin, is boosting its efforts to raise awareness about the paper industry’s broader aspects and ongoing opportunities despite consolidation, said a center official, reported The Post-Crescent on April 2.

Children that come to the center generally have been told that the industry is “dying” and mills are closing, but the center seeks to counter this impression and inspire young people to become interested in science, said Alan Button, who serves as vice chairman of the center’s Paper Industry International Hall of Fame board.

The center, which opened in February 2005, is stepping up its effort to bring in more school groups and host more community events. Besides giving tours of the center, educational programs showcase the science behind papermaking, The Post-Crescent reported.

There is plenty to discover at the center, said Button, who is a longtime paper industry executive and now runs Buttonwood Consulting.

The paper industry struggles to attract young people to papermaking as a profession, but paper science has many other applications, he said, adding that things like sustainability “may spark some interest,” reported The Post Crescent.

The paper industry is just beginning to use the various applications for consumer goods and unproven science to enhance products, said Button.

Appleton Papers Inc. helped to improve Procter & Gamble Co.’s liquid softener Downy through the papermaker’s microencapsulation technology, which encases solid, liquid or gaseous materials in micro-sized shells or capsules.

Using the technology, Downy was able to make the fabric softener’s fresh laundry scent last longer, The Post-Crescent reported.

New Jersey-based Troy Corp. also employed the technology for a biocide additive that can be used in paints, architectural coatings and mortar finishes, making the products more resistant to mold and mildew.

Thilmany Papers in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, developed a specialty paper for ConAgra Foods Inc. to use for an award-winning pop-up popcorn bowl bag in many Orville Redenbacher products.

In Wisconsin, the paper industry employs about 56,522 people, including about 32,431 in pulp and papermaking. There are more than 260 paper industry manufacturing facilities operating statewide, including 38 pulp, paper and paperboard mills and 195 converting plants, according the American Forest & Paper Association, reported The Post-Crescent.

The primary source of this article is The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wisconsin, on April 2, 2012.


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