It’s not easy being Green – or is it?
We are all feeling the pressure, as businesses and individuals, to be greener. The pressure to make sustainable choices exist in what we eat, how we travel, what we wear. The detrimental effects of plastics on the green environment are well documented, and recycled paper has come to the rescue, offering a more sustainable option to replace our previous choice of plastic and pure pulp, virgin paper grades. Here at PG Paper, we have seen a significant increase in supply and demand for recycled packaging grades, and in this week’s blog, we’ll take a closer look at recycled paper and board.
Demand for Recycled Packaging Grows
Over the last three years, we have noticed a marked increase in demand for recycled packaging grades such as recycled Kraft papers, testliner, fluting, and grey board, duplex and triplex. With carton and containerboard grammages ranging from 20gsm to over 800gsm, there is a recycled grade suitable for almost any printing and packaging end-use. From lightweight, bleached bread bags with kit levels and grease resistance, to heavy-duty and industrial applications; recycled grades are suitable for many end-users across a multitude of markets, and demand is booming.
A Commercial Imperative
The market shift towards recycled grades has been hitting headlines recently, with household names pledging significant commitments to sustainable and environmentally-friendly products. Unilever, P&G, and Nestle have all pledged to slash the amount of plastic they use in food and drink, cosmetic and cleaning brands, in a bid to stay relevant to millennials and Generation Z consumers. We are becoming more interested in the conduct of the companies we buy from, and sustainability from companies we buy from every day is becoming non-negotiable.
Paper Mills & Carbon Footprint
Overall, our paper and board consumption has reached an all-time high. In 2018, over 2,000 new jobs were created in the packaging, hygiene, and specialty paper sector, with nine new mills opening and over 92 million tonnes produced. (CEPI, Press Release) Paper manufacturers use a vast amount of water, CO2, energy, and wood when producing virgin quality paper or board. When you consider some paper mills manufacture over one million metric tonnes of paper per year, the environmental cost of this is huge! As the industry continues to feel pressure to become greener, switching to recycled grades makes good business sense for many and adds to the increasing importance of manufacturers creating a sustainable environmental footprint. In fact, CO2 emissions generally are steadily declining year on year, thanks to increased efficiency and ongoing investment in limiting our carbon footprint. Recycled paper and board production reduce carbon emission; one tonne of recycled paper can save the equivalent of 1.32 tonnes of CO2! (Source: PaperBackPaper)
Europe Leading the Way
The European Paper Recycling Council has committed to achieving a 74% recycling rate of paper and board by 2020, an initiative initially introduced in the 2000 European Declaration on Paper Recycling. As it stands, this target will be met and exceeded, as Europe continues to be the world leader in recycling rates. Paper and board can be recycled up to seven times before the fibers in the paper are unusable for production. As the raw material for recycled paper and board manufacturing becomes even more readily available, recycled isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon! As Europeans continue to trail-blaze the recycling road, the recycled grades we deal with so often here at PG, such as our European origin testliner, fluting, duplex, triplex, and recycled kraft grades will continue to be a focus for our sales efforts, and more capacity will continue to become available.