How Your Lottery Tickets End Up As Toilet Paper

HICKORY, NC-- This Kids Want to Know Question led us to look at a product we use everyday in a whole new light.

"My name is Neen and my question is, how is paper made?"

You're probably thinking, I know the answer: they cut down trees!

Not necessarily! The Von Drehle Company in Hickory makes paper products like toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissues.

But it's not from trees, It's from trash. It's treated trash of course.

"Ours is 100% recycled," says Jon Thomson. "It's either been trims and cuttings from printing companies, we actually have old lottery tickets, old french fry containers and office waste."

All of it is put into like a big blender. It uses water and it's got these big blades that chop it all up and tear it up and it breaks it all down into individual paper fibers.

"We use high pressure steam to blow out any inks, dyes, fragrances even, clay, any imperfections or impurities. From then its sent to the paper machine which is this huge machine like a drying machine that is probably 15 feet tall and that machine is turning at 60 miles an hour. "

From there the paper mixture is sent to our converting facility, where they change it, they cut it down into size of the stuff that you know every day like paper towels and toilet paper.

"It takes a lot less energy to make recycled paper .We ended up saving 1.3 million trees in the last 12 months. Its just one of those things. Like turning on a light switch,you don't even think about where the energy comes from or how it works, it just works. So when you reach for a paper towel, you don't think about all the stuff that goes into it."


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