Liquid paperboard (LPB) is a type of cardboard with qualities needed to handle liquid food and the main component of a beverage carton. Water plays a central role in the paperboard production process. The structure of paper depends on water, which is needed to extract and carry wood fibres through the production process, and to form the desired characteristics of the paper. Water is also used for cooling processes, cleaning and washing pulp, as well as a carrier of energy in the form of steam.
Water withdrawal in LPB manufacturing is relatively large, but water consumption is low. In the LPB manufacturing, approximately 95-97% of water used is safely released back to the environment. No treatment is needed prior to releasing cooling water, while process water has to undergo several stages of water treatment. In contrast, only about 3-5% of the entire water intake to the LPB paper mill is consumed. The consumed water is incorporated in products, by-products and waste or evaporated during the process. All the water ACE members use in paperboard production comes from lakes and rivers. Water from municipal sources or groundwater is not used in the manufacturing process.
The water withdrawn from surface water in the mill surroundings and later used in the LPB manufacturing is not the same as the consumed water.