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PaperChain figures support optimism for recovered paper market growth

An increase in recycled paper tonnages has been predicted for 2009 making a mockery of suggestions recycling should be abandoned in favour of energy recovery. Industry organisation PaperChain released figures showing a strong and healthy demand for quality recovered paper and board from the UK waste stream throughout 2008.

The organisation said its members recycled 3.2 million tonnes of quality recovered paper and board from various UK waste streams over the course of the year, which was the same quantity as recycled by members in 2007.

Furthermore, the tonnage recycled by PaperChain members are likely to increase significantly through 2009 with the acquisition and conversion of the M-Real office-paper mill in Kemsley, Kent, to take light-weight packaging materials by St Regis Paper Company.

PaperChain chairman Simon Westonsaid: UK paper recycling mills continue to provide a reliable outlet for high quality recovered paper and board from the UK waste stream, but they will not buy material that leads to problems in the recycling process. UK mills must remain competitive and low quality leads to higher reject levels and adds cost to the mills.

Some Far East buyers have accepted lower-quality materials in the past where they could afford to sort the material further. However, this is not viable in a falling market where cost becomes critical. It is imperative that all waste paper and board recovered from the UK waste stream is of high quality to ensure future UK and global demand.

This echoes comments made by BIR paper division president Ranjit Baxiearlier this month calling on the public to continue recycling paper to ensure supplies for the paper hungry UK industry.

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