China increased domestic paper consumption to 83% in 2019 as imports fell by 37%

China recycling
A person collecting waste in China

As part of its plan to reduce imports, China’s use of domestic paper reached 83% in 2019 in its production of finished product, it has been revealed.

Data provided by a report in publication China Paper Network Today also showed that imports of paper fell by 36.9% in 2019 to 10.75 million tonnes ahead of an expected ban by the end of this year.


According to the report, the United States remains the main exporter of recovered fibre to China with an import proportion of 44.49%, followed by Japan with 15.87% and the UK with 13.24%.

In 2018, China recycled 61.82 million tonnes of paper, an increase of 13.2% on the year before.

By 2025, it expects to recycle 75 million tonnes of domestic paper.

Interestingly, the report also mentions that Chinese mill groups have successfully worked to improve the quality of material collected domestically.

It says: “In 2018, under the pressure of imported waste paper policy adjustment, domestic paper companies generally raised the quality standards of domestic waste paper procurement and implemented ‘zero tolerance’ for sundries.

“Under the pressure of this paper mill collective action, the quality of domestic recycled paper has been comprehensively improved, and the purity of domestic recycled paper has increased by 80%. After the quality is generally improved, a fair waste paper supply market environment has been created.”

The report also mentions that quality will be further improved following the import ban.

It adds: “After the solid waste is completely banned, the state will definitely issue a series of policies to promote the further improvement of the domestic renewable resource recycling system to ensure the effective use of domestic renewable resources and raw material demand of downstream production enterprises.”

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