Skip to main content

Reinhold Schmidt: ‘existential distress’ for German paper recyclers

Germany – ‘Thanks to its highly modern production sites, Germany was once again Europe’s largest consumer of recovered paper and cardboard in 2015 ‘€“ with a total production of over 22.5 million tonnes ,’ said bvse chairman Reinhold Schmidt at the annual bvse meeting in Düsseldorf last Thursday.

According to preliminary figures from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office, the nation imported 36 000 tonnes more recovered paper last year than in 2014, representing a total of 3.98 million tonnes. Exports also saw a notable increase in 2015, rising 56 thousand tonnes to 2.52 million tonnes. The material was mainly shipped to the Netherlands and France.

‘Those recyclers and traders who are active in the Far East benefited from a sharp decline in cross-border freight rates, combined with the fact that China imported a lot more recovered paper and carboard compared to 2014,’ Schmidt told delegates.

‘But while the market continued a positive and stable overall trend in 2015, it did not obscure that Germany’s recovered paper sector is under extreme economic pressure,’ Schmidt urged. He cited ‘regulatory discrimination’ thriving in the market, leading municipality authorities to essentially hold small and medium recycling businesses ‘in an iron grasp’.

Schmidt described the ‘extremely hostile’ produrement procedures of recyclebles has intensified further, thus anchoring the monopoly position of German municipalities in the recycling arena. Also, tendering periods of a maximum of three years was dubbed ‘simply insufficient’.

Not least, Schmidt spoke out against the proposal (based on a study by Remondis) to allow higher market shares than usual when companies are acquired and the parties involved are complete antitrust and fair competition tests. ‘This can not and must not be a solution,’ Schmidt declared. ‘The time has come for politicians to finally see the urgency of our situation! Municipalities and corporations have brought the small and medium-sized companies in existential distress – policymakers must correct this error!’

Don't hesitate to contact us to share your input and ideas. Subscribe to the magazine or (free) newsletter.

You might find this interesting too

E-commerce boom heaps pressure on consumer recycling
Recycling partners target paper cups

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe now and get a full year for just €169 (normal rate is €225) Subscribe