China Paper Producers' Heavy Reliance on Recycled Paper Pushes Recovery Efforts

Although China recovered 43.5 million tons of waste paper domestically in 2011, the recovery rate was only about 45 percent.

Jan. 29, 2013 (China Daily) - Fueled by escalating paper and cardboard demand, China's recovered paper production has seen rapid growth in recent years. Consumption jumped from 7.6 million tons in 1994 to 71 million tons in 2011, China Paper Association figures show.

Asian countries, especially fiber-short countries like China and India, will remain heavily dependent on recovered paper and account for a large share of the demand growth in the future, predicts Hannah Zhao, a Resource Information Systems Inc. economist on recovered paper.

In 2011, China used 56.6 million tons of recycled fiber-based pulp, accounting for 62 percent of the total pulp consumption in China. About 38 percent of the recovered paper was recycled domestically.

Niu Qingming, vice-president of China Paper Association, believes China should regard the recovered paper sector as part of its efforts to build a resource-conserving, environment-friendly society, and carry out more favorable policies to support it.

"Recycled paper has been vital in sustaining our paper industry and society," Niu says.

Recovered paper has become the main raw material of China's paper-making industry. In 2010, two thirds of the top 30 paper enterprises in China utilized recovered paper to produce paper, according to Niu.

Despite the fast growth, China's recovered paper industry is still at a preliminary stage, says Jiang Xingsan, president of China Resource Recycling Association.

Although China recovered 43.5 million tons of waste paper domestically in 2011, the recovery rate was only about 45 percent, compared to the world average level of 57 percent.

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SOURCE: China Daily