Wondering if the term “mill broke” is slang for laid off…it’s not.

By Winn Apple   |   Published March, 2013

Before we dive into the riveting topic of mill broke, I must inform you that I was unable to uncover a slang term for laid off. I did, however, find a plethora of entertaining urban substitutes for getting fired – all of which pertained to very specific conditions under which the termination was delivered.

Before we begin today’s lesson, allow me to share a few of the gems I found on http://www.urbandictionary.com.

1. Adobbin – getting fired via mail courier cause you don’t answer your phone.

2. Cyber Sacked – getting fired via email or social networking site.

3. Bangalored – getting fired from a job because it was outsourced to an offshore company

“Ok Bacchus P., enough fun and games,” you may or may not be saying to your computer screen, “what is mill broke?”

Besides being my number one vote to fill a rather important slang gap, it is in actuality the paper trimmings and other paper scrap generated at the paper mill.

WOW is right!

“What happens to the mill broke?” you ask.

Well, it doesn’t receive an unemployment check, but rather it is put right back to work. In various amounts, it is added to paper which has been recovered from responsible recyclers like you and then magically transformed into recycled paper.

Now here’s where the distinction “recycled” gets a bit fuzzy in definition. Hold on to your hat folks, the story is about to peak.

All recycled papers are not created equal. There, I said it!

There are four ingredients that can be used in varying percentages when making recycled paper –

1. Mill Broke – which we’ve covered.

2. Post Consumer Waste– the paper products you recycled. You’re so responsible!

3. Pre Consumer Waste – the paper products that exited the mill but never made it into your shopping cart, such as magazines collecting dust on rack at the checkout stand – though I have seen you secretly leafing through that National Enquirer!

4. Virgin Pulp – wood pulp made from newly cut trees.

Paper manufactures can get pretty liberal with the use of the term recycled. The percentages of recycled material used can range from 10% to 100%, though by E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency) standards, recycled paper should contain atleast 30% post consumer waste.

To top it off, some papers don’t even contain post or pre consumer waste. It may only contain mill broke and maybe not much of it.

Here you are loading up your reusable, hemp grocery bag with recycled goods, gleefully skipping down the road thinking to yourself, “Look at me buying recycled paper. I sure do feel good about it!” And you should, despite the fact that you just got bamboozled by a pack of paper touting the recycled logo. Despite the trickery, you can still sleep sound knowing that there are some pretty amazing organizations out there committed to keeping our majestic redwoods and ancient forests safe – organizations like Canopy and FSC.

And, though yes, trees were indeed harvested to make that pearly pack of paper, it may be of some relief to know that most non-recycled papers come from trees specifically farmed for use in paper products, though not cutting more trees is the preference.

To find out what percentage of the paper was made from previously used paper, check the package – it should be listed. You can also ask your printer what percentage of post-consumer waste is used in the papers they offer. Certified Green Printers, like Bacchus Press, generally offer a vast selection of recycled paper, most containing 80% – 100% post consumer waste.

Keep in mind that the right paper makes a difference not only for the environment but for the finished quality of your project, and 100% recycled paper might not be the right one for the job. Our super awesome customer service representatives would just be tickled pink to help you in your paper selection. Really!

Just remember, you can trust Bacchus Press for an eco-friendly and excellently executed print job – the results of which will impress your boss, undoubtedly leading to job security and in turn you won’t find yourself in the unemployment line…mill broke.

Till next time folks, keep it green!

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About the Author

In addition to crafting content and blogs, Winn Apple writes short stories and novellas for middle-grade readers. You can find her short stories along with a portfolio on her site, MysticJunkyard.com or on her soon to release website, snugbuggle.com – the best darn place to find short stories for kids.


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