Submitted: The Two Sides Team December 27, 2012
Although fibreglass still commands 94% of the US insulation market, a cellulose alternative is making an ever bigger impact.
December 10 2012
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 companys 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 GreenFibers 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.