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Quality issue: ‘Extra costs must be covered by appropriate recovered paper prices’

Global – China’s proposed import restrictions on lower grades of recovered fibre will require major investments by suppliers in quality control processes and technology, according to Andreas Uriel. The Managing Director of German paper recycler Uriel Papierrohstoffe told the latest BIR Paper Division meeting in New Delhi that ‘€˜these extra costs must be covered by appropriate recovered paper prices’€™.

In his presentation on the new European standard for recovered paper quality control, Uriel pointed out that technical possibilities for testing have become ‘more and more extensive’, adding that suppliers ‘must ensure the evaluation of their deliveries is fair and done by reliable technology’.

The quality issue and China’s import restrictions are continuing to cause headaches for the global paper recycling sector. BIR World President and Paper Division Honorary President Ranjit Baxi of UK-based J&H Sales International spoke of ‘market reports predicting a 30% reduction in recovered paper volumes going to China’.

A proposal to ban imports containing more than 0.3% contamination ‘has not been formalised’; until that happens, he said, the industry should continue to abide by the internationally-accepted threshold of 1.5% non-paper components.

Baxi described the 0.3% threshold as unrealistic. He asked how it is to be measured and whether recycling plants can adapt to such a low limit. If so, will they be granted a period of at least 9-12 months to make the necessary investments in new equipment?

‘You cannot switch your machines just like that,’ he insisted.

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