A study that is looking into whether it is feasible to establish a paper mill in Ireland was launched in December.
Led by the North South Market Development Steering Group (NSMDG) and funded jointly by Northern Ireland's Department of the Environment through the Waste and Resources Action Programme and Ireland's Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the study will assess the strategic contribution which a new paper mill could make to delivering a dynamic and healthy recycled paper market.
Ireland's Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Dick Roche said: "The draft National Biodegradable Strategy published earlier this year sets a challenging target of 45% recycling of paper and cardboard waste by 2009.
"Two thirds of all material recovered for recycling goes abroad for recycling. This is
a big challenge and one
which favours an island-wide approach."
Paper and paperboard are major components of the municipal and commercial solid waste stream within Ireland. North and south recovery rates are also increasing following the introduction of household kerbside collection schemes and a growing commercial sector.
However, at present a significant amount of paper is exported for recycling. The intention is that if a viable option can be identified, this would provide stable domestic recycling capacity in the island of Ireland
and produce new, recycled products for the domestic market.