Paper recycling operations using the correct equipment have the capability to achieve the quality standard laid down by the Chinese authorities, according to BIR Paper Division President Jean-Luc Petithuguenin of Paprec Recyclage in France. Paprec ‘sells more to China now than in the past’, he declared during the world recycling organisation’s latest convention, held in Barcelona, Spain.
‘China is pushing our industry in the right direction, to produce the right quality of material,’ said Petithuguenin. Perhaps we feel they are pushing too hard or too fast, but it is in the right direction.’
Emiliano Guainella, general manager EMEA Containerboard at International Paper in Spain, identified fibre purchases as the largest cost for mills and said the proportion of unwanted material continued to be an issue despite improvements. It was important, he said, to find cost-competitive ways to further reduce the percentage of unwanted materials, as well as to achieve better separation of paper grades.
According to Guillermo Vallés Albar, procurement director at SAICA in Spain, there is a growing need for a common understanding of the paper recycling chain. ‘We are all recyclers – we cannot live without you and you cannot live without us,’ he proclaimed. That said, there had been misunderstandings in the past owing to ‘a legal framework that did not fit the reality of our common work’.
In this context, he underlined the importance of devising a definition for ‘the secondary raw material you produce and we consume’. Also, he said, there was no definition of the ‘final recycler”.
The new legal framework in Europe ‘will not solve the problem’, he concluded, ‘so we have to find the solution by ourselves.’
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