Sorting plants for paper and cardboard to grow in Europe by 2025

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Consultancy ecoprog has published a new report which has found that up to 220 sorting plants for paper and cardboard waste will be commissioned in Europe by 2025.  

This growth will be based on the expansion of separate waste collection systems and the renewal of the existing plants, the company said.  

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Europe currently has more than 2,000 sorting plants across the continent, but according to the report, waste paper and cardboard sorting plants differ due to the technology, with the number of facilities that sort only paper and cardboard waste being low.  

Most of the plants in the UK and France sort waste from the dry recyclables bin, with about 450 plants and an average capacity of 60,000 tonne per annum sort waste paper, lightweight packaging and sometimes glass. 

Ecoprog believe that sorting paper and cardboard waste will increase in importance by 2025, due to the growth of these materials going to recovery, and the expansion of separate collection.   

It states that due to the Chinese import restrictions, the use of waste paper in Europe will become more significant, although more thorough sorting for high-quality waste paper will be needed. 

The report estimated that by 2025 paper and cardboard waste amounts from municipal solid waste (MSW) will increase by around 4.6 million tonnes to 48 million tonnes annually. 

It found that France, the UK and Poland have the best market development potential, and that Europe as a whole will require a further sorting capacity of 6.7 million tonnes. 

Additionally, about 2.1 million tonnes of sorting capacity will be modernised or replaced until 2025 and will mainly impact the large asset markets in Germany and Spain, the report said.  

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