So just how does the solid tree standing in the forest end up becoming the softest, most delicate tissue, the protective cardboard for your new flat screen television, or the simple teabag containing your favourite tea?

Wood is the primary raw material for the pulp and paper industry. The paper industry uses a large variety of woods to produce paper, and the papermaker often mixes a range of wood pulps with different characteristics to create a particular type of paper or board. Recovered paper has become as important a source of new paper as wood - recovered paper now accounts for more than half of the fibres used in the production of paper.

In fact the paper industry is the largest recycler in Europe. However, fibre cannot be usefully recycled endlessly; so there is an ongoing need to feed the supply of recovered fibre with virgin fibre in the form of wood pulp, from hardwood or softwood trees.

The papermaking process can be divided into three distinct elements:

• Pulping
• Papermaking and
• Finishing