With the development of living standard and civilization in recent years, people’s consumption concept of tissue paper has shifted gradually from pursuing practicality to safety, function, perception, and even creativity. Unbleached tissue paper is more and more popular in China paper market, and its market share increases year by year. Now unbleached tissue has been considered as a leading paper grade with green and healthy philosophy in household paper market.
In China, the Industrial Standard of Unbleached Tissue Paper:ＱＢ/Ｔ4509-2013 (the Standard) was formulated and released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China. According to the Standard, unbleached tissue refers to the household paper grades used in daily life that are made from 100% natural fiber pulp, including unbleached toilet paper, napkin, paper towels, etc.
According to the Standard, there are different requirements for unbleached tissue production compared with bleached tissue. Firstly, it shall be made from 100% unbleached virgin fiber pulp, and dyes, pigments, toxic and harmful chemicals shall not be added in the production. The content of fluorescent substances must be qualified for testing. Secondly, the brightness of unbleached tissue shall be lower than or equal to 55%. Thirdly, the softness shall be lower than or equal to 220mN for unbleached napkin, and lower than or equal to 450mN for unbleached toilet paper. Fourthly, in terms of paper absorbency, it also carry out different standards of horizontal water suction height for single-layer paper towel(≥15mm/100s), single-layer toilet paper(≥20mm/100s), and double or multi-layer tissue(≥30mm/100s).
Natural fiber raw materials for papermaking are mainly classified into two categories, namely wooden and non-wooden fibers. Due to the relative lacking of wood resources in China, wheat straw, bamboo, bagasse, reed, corn stalks and other non-wooden fibers are usually taken as raw materials in the production of unbleached tissue paper. Without bleaching or only mild bleaching, the pulp remains relatively original color. The elimination of bleaching chemicals avoids the formation of adsorption of organic halide (AOX). For mild bleaching, environmentally friendly bleaching agents (such as oxygen, ozone, hydrogen peroxide, biological enzymes, etc.) and bleaching methods (such as oxygen delignification) are applied in the semi-bleaching process. And then mechanical solution can be used to realize full defiberation of pulp fibers and lower the residual lignin content. Therefore, the pulp can become relatively stable and light yellow in color, which can be directly used in the production of unbleached tissue paper.
Shandong Tranlin Paper Group is one of the earliest unbleached tissue manufacturers in China. 100% unbleached straw pulp is taken as raw materials in the production of paper products, which have passed the United States FDA and EU food grade AP test. Now it is China’s “National Key new Products”, the Shanghai World Expo franchise products. Tranlin has several manufacture bases in Gaotang(Shandong province), Jiamusi(Heilongjiang province), Dehui(Jilin province), etc. Tranlin plans to establish a comprehensive straw processing project of 3.75 million tons annually, including five unbleached pulp production lines of 300 thousand tons, ten tissue production lines of 30 thousand tons, and five kitchen paper production lines of 60 thousand tons.
Sichuan Vanov Group uses bamboo pulp as raw materials to produce unbleached tissue products, including facial tissues, paper handkerchiefs, and toilet paper. It has formulated a forest-pulp-paper integrated industrial chain. Bamboo biomass refinery technology is applied in pulping process in order to preserve the flexibility of bamboo fiber. The bamboo fiber has strong antibacterial, mite-killing, odor-resistant and anti-ultraviolet functions. It’s predicted that the BABO brand household paper products will lead a new product category and lifestyle. Now it has appeared in the markets of Singapore, Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada and other countries.
In addition, there are some other unbleached tissue manufacturers in China, such as Ningxia Zijinghua Paper Co., Ltd, Guangdong Shaoneng Group Co., Ltd, Guangxi Huaxi Paper Group Co., Ltd, Jiangsu Shuangdeng Paper Co., Ltd, etc.
Sichuan province is considered as the most concentrated region for unbleached tissue production. Sichuan has enriched bamboo resources and takes bamboo pulp as raw materials in the production. At present, Sichuan province has an annual production capacity of 450 thousand tons of unbleached bamboo tissue medium, and 500 thousand tons capacity of unbleached bamboo tissue paper and related paper products. The products fall short of demands.
The representative enterprises are Sichuan Youfun Paper Co., Ltd, Yibin Paper Industry Co., Ltd, Sichuan Jianwei Fengsheng Paper Co., Ltd, Sichuan Vanov New Materials Co., Ltd, Sichuan Petrochemical Yashi Paper Co., Ltd, etc.