Graphic Communications Students Tour Paper Mill

Published 03.28.2011

Student News
Graphic Design & Art

Students get priceless real-world glimpse during paper-mill tourStudents in Penn College's graphic communications management major experienced the papermaking process firsthand during a recent tour of the American Eagle Paper Mill in Tyrone. The plant has been in existence formore than 100 years, for much of that time making paper in the traditional way of using wood. The plant changed ownership several years ago, however, and began making paper by recycling the waste from plastic-coated food containers.In one of the most unique systems in the entire country, American Eagle has developed a method to separate the plastic from the paper, de-ink the paper and repulp it to produce numerous grades of printing-grade papers. The plastic is then sold to companies that produce products for outdoor flooring, decks and related items. On a given day, the plant receives 13 truckloads of scrap that otherwise would end up in a landfill. Among its customers, the U.S. Postal Service uses paper made in Tyrone for the production of envelopes. James P. Lentz, associate professor of printing and publishing technology (who also provided the photo at left), commented that such experiences in a real-world settinglend so much more meaning to what is discussed in the classroom, providing a perspective that no lecture or audiovisual aid could rival.