The Growing Demand for High-Quality Recycled Copy Paper

Growing Demand of High Quality Recycled Paper

In maintaining its commitment to provide high-quality paper products to the world, APP recently expanded its Paperline portfolio with Paperline Eye Care-100% Post-Consumer Waste (PCW), a high white, high bright copy paper. One of the fastest-growing commodities in the world is recycled copy paper. The global copier paper market is expected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 1.5% from 2020-2026. Segments in demand are post-consumer waste grades with more than 50% recycled content. 

The paper industry’s ability to respond to consumer demand for PCW copy paper has been affected by the implementation of the China National SWORD program, announced in 2017. Many countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and India have also implemented quality standards on waste products similar to the Chinese program which banned the import of reclaimed waste such as mixed paper products, plastics, and other materials for use in the development of the recycled paper. Currently, new import licenses for wastepaper are granted for materials that possess a fiber purity level greater than 99.5%. The ban has led to a major global shift in how materials tossed in the recycling bin are being sorted and processed. This has paved the way for innovation and new technology needed to sort, de-ink and isolate the high-value materials need to meet the SWORD Standard. This sorting of choice wastepaper has fueled the growth in this new commodity segment for high-quality copy and printing papers. 

The use of technology to save trees and sort valuable wastepaper can enable waste operators to continue exporting their material overseas to markets where high purity pulp materials will command a much higher market price. One of the recent advances in recycled sorting is sensor-based technology. Sensor-based technology identifies high purity paper grades, such as brown cardboard, printed cartons, plastic-coated cartons, dyed paper, newsprint, and multiple-colour printed paper products.  This helps to isolate and identify the high-value materials and sort them for eventual repulping, saving trees and energy, thus making it more sustainable. Data worth noting for the sustainable production of recycled paper indicate that energy savings of 7 to 57 percent are possible for paper products such as newsprint, printing paper, packaging paper, and tissue paperAnd, 1 metric ton of 100% recycled paper saves 26 trees, equivalent to 4.4 tons of wood, reducing greenhouse gases by as much as 58%.

Despite the economic impact of Covid, the future is bright for tissue, paper and paperboard products, which will continue to grow substantially in the West, Europe and emerging markets such as China, India, Indonesia, Latin America. With increases in population, urbanization, and the development of a new middle class, reclaiming and recycling paper for new paper products has a positive impact on the environment, job creation and will ultimately drive the cost down as recycled pulp becomes a mainstream commodity. 

APP will continue to invest in new technologies while leveraging its current supply chain to secure the top choice reclaimed wastepaper content needed to produce quality paper products Like our Paperline Eye Care.

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