The paper industry is one of the older industries in the world, dating back centuries, to perhaps the 2nd century BC in China (or, if we're counting papyrus, as far back as the third millennium BC). Despite some significant technological advances in recent years, we still consume quite a bit of the flimsy stuff. We took to the PitchBook Platform to gauge private equity involvement in the space. Since 2000, PE investors have backed 141 U.S.- or Canada-based companies in the Paper/Soft Products vertical. The pace is picking up as 43 of those deals have occurred since the beginning of 2010. By state, Illinois and Wisconsin took in the most deals with 13% and 11%, respectively.