The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) has defended the paper recycling industry following an article in the Daily Mail.
A recent story in the newspaper, Recycling con: millions of tonnes end up in landfill, outlined issues around quality of material, but in a way that suggested recycling was a waste of time.
However, CPI has issued a statement explaining why “the recycling of valuable resources should not be discouraged”.
In response to the article, CPI noted that recovered paper is the most important raw material for the UK paper and board industry with around 73 per cent of material recycled.
It added: “Quality recovered paper is used paper and board which has been collected from the waste stream and can be used, without further sorting, in the papermaking process to make new paper and board products. CPI believes this is best achieved by segregating the used paper at the source of its production (eg by the householder) in order to minimise contamination during the recovery process.
“While there are specific issues affecting how paper and other recyclable materials are managed following collection from households, any implication that householders are ‘deliberately having the wool pulled over their eyes’ is simply counterproductive. Recycling processing systems must be improved, but that is not good reason enough for householders not to bother recycling in the first place.
“Contamination can be particularly prevalent in ‘single-stream’ (commingled) collection schemes.”