Paper is such a natural part of our daily lives that we can sometimes forget just how much we rely upon this essential, renewable and evolving resource.

Few things in life are as versatile, reliable and practical as paper. Be it a carrier, barrier or filter; be it opaque, translucent or transparent paper supports all manner of activities.

Paper is perhaps best known for its long and illustrious association with the written word. But, of course, it has many other uses and new applications are being discovered all the time....too many to be mentioned here, but just to remind you, there follows a brief mention of some of the more high profile uses of this flexible, limitless material:

Paper types

Paper is an incredibly versatile substance. In eliciting its full potential, papermakers utilise a range of techniques: paper may be impregnated, enamelled, crêped, waterproofed, waxed, glazed, sensitised, bent, folded, crumpled, cut, dissolved, macerated, moulded or embossed.

As papermaking has evolved, paper's properties have been enhanced by colouring, coating and printing. Likewise, new applications have been developed by laminating paper with fabrics, plastics and metals. Within the paper industry, the hundreds of paper products which exist are sometimes grouped into five broad categories: