Europe’s paper and pulp industry turned in a strong performance in 2017, with an increase in recycling despite China’s import restrictions.
In its Key Statistics 2017 report, the Confederation of European Paper Industries (Cepi) said all parts of the industry had done well.
It reported that, despite the Chinese crackdown on contamination, the paper and board recycling rate had increased to 72.3%, a 0.2 percentage point rise, with a 1.4% increase in paper used for recycling.
Germany was the leader for using paper for recycling at 35.5%, followed by France on 11.1%. The UK was fifth at 6.5%.
Director general Sylvain Lhôte said: “The 2017 figures demonstrate that the European pulp and paper industry is achieving a phenomenal turnaround. Whether it is production, added value or exports, all key indicators are positive.
“The current level of investment, not seen since 2005, is indicative of the industry’s self-confidence and the acceleration of its transformation.”
Lhôte said there had been a 7.5% growth in investment from 2016, equivalent to €5bn (£4.4bn).
Paper consumption rose by 0.5% during the year while production of paper and board was up by 1.5% from 2016. Exports showed a 5.2% increase from 2016.