UK paper recycling rate heads towards 80%

The UK's paper recycling rate stands at 78.7%, an increase of nearly 5% on the previous year, according to latest figures.

Data released by the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) shows a rise from 75.1% in 2010 to 78.7% in 2011.

However, the CPI sounded a note of caution by highlighting that the figurescould be attributed more to a decrease in paper consumption than a significant increase in the amount of paper collected for recycling.

CPI recovered paper sector manager Stuart Pohler said: "UK collection of used recovered paper in 2011 was just over 8m tonnes - an increase of 0.4% on 2010 - whereas consumption of paper and board products which entered the UK waste stream reduced by 4.2% compared to 2010."

He added that with lower volumes available for collection, and only a modest increase in tonnage collected for recycling from existing sources, aditional sources would be required to maintain recycling performance.

"This will have a significant knock-on effect for cost and quality control for collectors and may become increasingly difficult if demand from global paper mills falls, further suppressing collectors income," Pohler said.

Maxine Perella


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