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Paper industry chief warns of 'many closures'

A paper industry leader has urged the government to change its green policies or face a catastrophe in the industry.

David Workman

David Workman, director-general of the Confederation of Paper Industries, left, warned of the closure of “many mills” over the next 10 years.

He said policies including energy-from-waste subsidies, carbon floor pricing and climate change targets were strangling the paper industry.

Workman said: “Paper is now the most recycled of materials with a recycling rate of 73%.

“However, government policy is acting as a huge disincentive to further investment and could result in the closure of many mills over the next decade.”

He said the Carbon Price Floor would put energy-intensive industries at a disadvantage to competitors elsewhere in the EU from 2013.

Workman also criticised an “arbitrary” target for a 14% reduction in energy use in the paper industry through the Climate Change Agreement.

He called for incentives for investing in and operating industrial combined heat and power plants, and the phasing out of subsidies for EfW and large scale energy-only biomass.

“Raw material scarcity is potentially a huge issue over the coming years and we need a waste strategy based on resource efficiency and a circular economy where the priority is closed loop recycling,” added Workman.

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