Over 4.5 million tonnes of waste paper and board was collected in Spain in 2015, 3.3% up on 2014, thereby consolidating the positive growth trend that began last year, when 4.4 million tonnes were collected and there was an increase in turnover of 2%.
By collection channels, a 4% increase was registered in the commercial and industrial channel, which is promoted and managed exclusively by private companies in the sector. This was a direct result of increased sales in retail and wholesale businesses (4.4%) and an increase in industrial output (3.2%). According to available figures, 3.04 million tonnes of waste paper and board came from the commercial channel (66.4%), while 971,904 tonnes (21.2 %) came from industry.
There was also a slight increase in the municipal channel, in which 566,858 tonnes (12.36%) was collected. This was mainly due to three factors: higher consumption; the commitment of citizens, who deposited an average of 12.2 kilos of paper and board in the blue containers; and the effective operation of municipal collection systems.
It is important to highlight that of all waste paper and board generated in 2015, 87.64%, i.e., 4.02 million tonnes, was managed by companies from the recovery and recycling sector in Spain. The vast majority of this sector is composed of SMEs and family businesses, which are key to the generation of wealth (GDP), and social and labour stability in Spain.