Frequently Asked Questions
The inclusion of wood and paper products to the US Lacey Act and other policies globally has led to an increased amount of fiber analysis. To better understand the results of fiber analysis, IPS has answered the following Frequently Asked Questions for your benefit:
- What is the definition of Mixed Tropical Hardwoods (MTH)?
- Mixed Tropical Hardwoods are wood fibers or vessels that may appear, often in small quantities, which are obviously not from temperate species. IPS is capable of identifying many of the tropical species, but those that can not be identified positively and are not of a temperate origin are labeled as Mixed Tropical Hardwoods.
- What is the difference between Fiber Analysis and Fiber Analysis with species percent?
- Both methods will give the species found (by common industry name) as well as pulping process. Fiber Analysis with species will also give the furnishes as well as a more detailed count of the species present.
- Can the “Country of Origin” be determined by fiber analysis?
- No. The fiber species can be determined and from there one can derive which geographical areas these species are typically cultivated or appear naturally but there is no way to definitively identify the exact country of origin.
- Can recycled content be determined?
- Yes, IPS has a method to estimate recycled content. The method is most accurate when the recycled stream is standard post consumer waste but tends to under estimate recycled content on very carefully selected recycled streams.
- If a product contains both recycled and virgin material, can it be determined which portion contributed the MTH?
- Possibly, but this is very sample-specific. If, for example, the MTH and the virgin pulp all had the same pulping process which was different from that seen in the recycled pulp, one can infer that the virgin material contributed the MTH. Furthermore, certain samples, such as packaging materials or book covers, may utilize a recycled core with virgin face sheets. With consent of the client, IPS will typically only analyze the virgin face sheet to avoid this issue.
- Is fiber analysis the best way to determine if wood was harvested in a legal or sustainable manner?
- Fiber analysis plays an integral role when exercising “due care.” However, this information typically needs to be coupled with and audit or certification to make a sound judgment.
If you have questions not addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions, please contact Customer Service at 920-749-3040 ext. 1.