This was the message from Aylesford Newsprint commercial manager Chris White who was addressing delegates at the South West Recycling Forum in Weston-Super-Mare.
He said that while most mills require white, clean newsprint, material collected can be black and dirty, with this matter needing to be addressed.
Contamination is rising. In 1998 we used around 82% of what was collected while now that figure is down to 78%. The situation is getting worse and were having to reject more and more.
Plastic bottles and tin cans in general arent a problem in the machine, but these are major sources of contamination which means we have to landfill or recycle at a cost something we have paid for, said White.
While plastic bags and film can cause blockages, glass is a nightmare, as it wears down slot screen holes in three months when these should last for 18 months. Dirt also creates a problem as once in the system, it can go round and round and soil loads for weeks on end.
White said that the majority of material used is either overissues of magazines or newspapers or arisings segregated at the kerbside.
However, material that has been commingled and separated in a material recycling facility regularly contains food waste, some glass and can be dirty.
White added: The situation is getting worse and if continues like this, we will no longer have a paper industry in this country. It will all go to China which will mean we will have to import it back.