When I first imagined myself to be visiting a pulp and paper mill, I didn’t expect to learn all the aspects of paper production.
From the research development of the pulp, quality controls which focus on the strength and porosity of the paper, dynamics of water treatment in the mill, to the fire and haze management strategy developed; every effort was part of an important process to develop the highest grade of paper.
The fire and haze management talk by Craig and Ian – APRIL’s fire managers – also cleared my misunderstanding about the haze issue in Indonesia. Using the slash-and-burn method to remove vegetation is not a sustainable way to grow a paper business and protect the earth at the same time, and thus not adopted by companies such as APRIL. I have also learnt that human empathy is essential to help the poor in developing countries like Indonesia. Success is not just about earning monetary benefits. This trip showed me that through contributions from private companies such as APRIL, we can raise the local communities’ standards of living, lift them out of poverty and in so doing, stop them from conducting illegal activities including the uncontrolled burning of forest – often driven by the desperation of the poor.
I want to thank APRIL for providing this opportunity for us to take a look at the huge amount of effort and resources that goes into the production of a single sheet of paper we use daily. Thanks to the friendly and hospitable program coordinators, Gladys and Jodie, every visit to the various production facilities was a joy and educational to the fullest potential. I sincerely encourage students to take on this valuable learning journey to Kerinci and expand your knowledge on paper production.
By: Wong, NUS (Chemistry), Year 3