History of paper (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia) Paper was invented in ancient China in about 105 CE during the Han Dynasty and spread slowly to the west via the Silk Road. Papermaking and manufacturing in Europe was started by Muslims living on the Iberian Peninsula, (today’s Portugal and Spain) and Sicily in the 10th century, and slowly spread to Italy and Southern France reaching Germany by 1400. Earlier, other paper-like materials were in use including papyrus, parchment, palm leaves and vellum. In medieval Europe, the hitherto handcraft of papermaking was mechanized by the use of waterpower, the first water papermill in the Iberian Peninsula having been built in the Portuguese city of Leiria in 1411, and other processes. The rapid expansion of European paper production was truly enhanced by the invention of the printing press and the beginning of the Printing Revolution in the 15th century. The word “paper” is etymologically derived from papyros, Ancient Greek for the Cyperus papyrus plant. Papyrus is a thick, paper-like material produced from the pith of the Cyperus papyrus plant which was used in ancient Egypt and other Mediterranean cultures for writing long before the making of paper in China. Papyrus however is a “lamination of natural plants, while paper is manufactured from fibres whose properties have been changed by maceration or disintegration.
Environmental impact of paper From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia A pulp and paper mill in New Brunswick, Canada. Although pulp and paper manufacturing requires large amounts of energy, a portion of it comes from burning wood residue. The environmental impact of paper is significant, which has led to changes in industry and behaviour at both business and personal levels. With the use of modern technology such as the printing press and the highly mechanised harvesting of wood, disposable paper has become a cheap commodity. This has led to a high level of consumption and waste. With the rise in environmental awareness due to the lobbying by environmental organizations and with increased government regulation there is now a trend towards sustainability in the pulp and paper industry.