As of press time for this column, Puerto Rico is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Maria. Early estimates for the cost of the damage to the US South and Southeast from hurricanes Harvey and Irma range over US$100 billion. Images from the aftermath of these storms show the devastating effects that they’ve had on the natural and built environments in those areas—but they also show scenes of rescue workers and citizens helping those affected. Stories abound of people coming together to help, and of those who already are beginning to think about the next step: how to rebuild.
For this issue’s annual Proud to Be a Papermaker article, we’ve collected just a few stories of companies that are helping relief efforts. I’m sure there are countless other stories out there, and that many in our industry have played a part in helping ease the burden.
As I read these stories, I was humbled to realize that it’s not just about cash donation—paper and packaging are critical in so many ways to helping people in disaster situations, just as they are in everyday life. Printing and writing, health and hygiene products, packaging for transport and storage of food and goods—these are things that allow society to function and to advance. Think about that: it’s not hyperbole. Our products improve human quality of life and are the backbone of societal innovation. In countless ways, they move us forward and bring us together.
From the grand scale of society at large, to the smaller scale of a single mill—the effort to rebuild requires working in partnership. Our Rebuilds/Conversions feature looks at market conditions, new technologies, and project results that I hope readers will find useful on their jobs. We’ve also got content on vacuum best practices, an interesting “greenfield/brownfield” mill project, and more.
This may be our last issue of the year, but we’re already planning new things for Paper360° in 2018. Information sharing really does bring people together, and our industry and its people prove every day that together we can accomplish great things. On behalf of our hard-working editors and all those who work to bring you this publication, I’d like to thank our readers for being a part of the Paper360° community.
LARRY N. MONTAGUE
President & CEO, TAPPI
Senior Editor, North and South America
Senior Editor, Europe and Asia
Editorial Director, TAPPI Journal
INTEGRATED MEDIA DIRECTOR
[email protected] (352) 333-3345
BK Publication Design