Improving Wastepaper Circularity for The Pulp and Paper Sector

December 20, 2023

This report is part of CSE’s work on industrial circularity. The report focuses on wastepaper-based industries of the Pulp and Paper sector, whose raw material is waste paper or recycled fibre (RCF). In the report we have discussed the status of wastepaper recycling in the country, supply chain, cost economics, quantification and estimation of the wastepaper used as raw material in paper industries, wastepaper-based production in the sector and other secondary applications.

The wastepaper gets diverted to different secondary applications and thus reduces the availability of the same to the paper industries for which it acts as a raw material, this also increases the import of wastepaper into the industry. As per CSE’s analysis, about 9 million tonnes of wastepaper is diverted in secondary applications. That is about 43 per cent of the total domestic consumption of paper.

As per CSE estimates, the present recovery and utilization of wastepaper by mills in India is about 12 million tonnes per annum, which translates to a recovery rate of 57 percent. This brings India close to many developed countries, however there is still ample scope to improve upon the recovery, as Europe at present recover about 70%. and countries like Japan have the highest recovery rate of about 80 percent.

The report has come up with recommendations in order to improve the circularity of wastepaper by improving the recovery rate of the wastepaper to the paper industries, usage of domestically available raw material and reducing the import of wastepaper in India.


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