Bear Island Mill - White Birch Paper

Bear Island

Ashland, Virginia, USA

The innovation that began in 1979 continues today, with seasoned management and cross-functional teams seeking ways to improve product quality, operational efficiency and environmental compliance.

Newspaper Publishing and Advertising Circulars

Bear Island uses a mix of wood and recycled fiber to produce newsprint for many printing processes. The mill’s newsprint is used in general printing and newspaper publishing, as well as for advertising circulars. Today, Bear Island’s paper machine produces 235,000 metric tons of newsprint annually, with customers throughout the United States and across the world.

Environmental innovations in our recycled pulp mill

Originally constructed in 1979, Bear Island was the first mill in the country to utilize a grinding and steam pressure technique to produce pulp. This thermomechanical pulping process drastically reduces air and water pollution and eliminates the strong smells associated with traditional chemical pulp and paper mills. The mill’s recycled pulp mill, which was implemented in 1994, runs continuously, converting old newspapers and magazines into high-grade recycled pulp.

focus on community

Through its employees and policies, Bear Island takes an active role in the Hanover County community. Whenever possible, Bear Island supports local businesses for services and supplies, including donating facility space for the Hanover County fire department. And the mill’s dedicated employees stay involved through donations of time and supplies to a wide range of local organizations, including the RAFT House  mental health facility and local childcare centers.

bear island location

White Birch Paper’s Bear Island mill is located less than 20 miles from Richmond and just six miles from Randolph-Macon College and historic downtown Ashland. The mill property covers more than 250 acres alongside the North Anna River and a tributary called the Little River. With plenty of open space nearby, Bear Island also borders the property used for the State Fair of Virginia.