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Strange pigmented things in Subway napkin

  1. Oct 6, 2012 #1
    So I was playing with a USB microscope at my desk, and I just viewed a Subway napkin with it. Attached is the picture I saw at ~75x magnification

    There's dots of all sorts of colors.. yellow, light blue, green, red.. even pink.
    Does anyone know what the colored dots might be?

    There's a description on the napkin saying "contains 100% recycled fiber."

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2012 #2
    could be recycled polymer fibers.
  4. Oct 7, 2012 #3


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    Gold Member

    I can see this type of thing barely in my rough notebook, made out of unbleached recycled paper.

    These coloured bits and pieces are just remnants of recycled paper unaffected by the bleaching agents, which turns them white.
  5. Oct 8, 2012 #4
    If they're recycled paper, why are there so many colored spots? Is there really that much colored paper being recycled?
  6. Oct 8, 2012 #5
    They are probably recycled magazines, with colourfast glossy picture fragments that would certainly survive bleaching if any, and remain attached to the fibres in the recycling process.
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