Story | 10/15/2015 07:21:00

Waste paper in the circular economy

At the start of this year, the recovered paper market in Britain faced turmoil following the shutdown of UPM Shotton PM1 and two paper machines at Aylesford Newsprint, all of which produced newsprint from recycled fibre.

The market was suddenly faced with a surplus of approximately 570,000 tonnes of recovered paper, for which alternatives uses had to be found.

“After the shutdown of these machines, the demand for recovered newspapers and magazines has been quite low in Britain. This is a major challenge for us, as the situation doesn’t encourage local authorities and waste paper companies to collect paper,” says Simon Walker, Head of Recycled Paper Sales at UPM.

The right thing to do, of course, would be to continue to improve the collection of these materials. One method could be to separate material flows – newspapers, magazines and cardboard – more effectively, to ensure a high level of quality. If the mix contains cardboard the quality of the recovered paper is reduced, and it cannot be used as raw material for newsprint.

“Recycling paper is an essential part of the European circular economy, which aims to extend the life of raw materials and resources,” Walker notes.

A common goal for all Europeans is to prolong the lifecycle of raw materials such as paper. Recycling is the most ecologically sustainable way to give paper a new lease of life.


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Helen Partti