Collection of paper for recycling grows for third consecutive year

The paper and pulp sector is electricity-intensive and gas-intensive (natural gas accounts for 70% of fuel used in the sector, while biomass and biogas accounts for 28%) and is at the forefront of efforts to decarbonise industry. The sector is aiming to achieve an 80% reduction in its CO2 emissions by 2050. Collection of paper and board for recycling has grown for the third consecutive year to 4.7 million tonnes, an increase of 3.1%. The European paper sector has set itself the target of recovering 74% of the paper consumed by 2020 (the rate currently stands at 71%). Within the EU, the world’s leading paper and board recycling region, Spain is on a par with France and only exceeded by Germany in terms of volume of paper recycled.

The paper and pulp industry is working to consolidate and extend current channels for the management of waste and by-products. The dual objective is to reduce the quantity of process waste sent to landfill (zero waste to landfill) and to diversify management options to enable each facility to choose the waste recovery solution best suited to its needs.

Collection of paper for recycling: 3 years of growth

Overall paper and board collection for recycling (including municipal selective collection in the blue container, door-to-door collection and clean selective collection points, plus private operators serving large retail outlets, printers, etc.) grew by 3.1% in 2016 to 4,710,300 tonnes.

This is the third consecutive year of growth and the figure is close to the all time high of 2008, when almost 5 million tonnes were collected.

In Spain, 71% of the paper we consume is now collected and recycled after use and the European paper industry has set itself the target of achieving a collection rate of 74% by 2020, thus contributing to the development of the circular economy.

Spanish paper mills recycled a total of 5,195,900 tonnes in 2016. Within the EU, the world’s leading paper and board recycling region, Spain is on a par with France and only Germany recycles more paper.