With regard to the paper supply chain and recycling, paper factories are at the forefront. We asked Massimo Medugno, managing director of Assocarta, to provide us an overview from a company point of view.
How important is paper recycling in the paper industry?
“Pulp paper is the main raw material of the industry. Paper recycling is an efficient system. Today a newspaper sent for recycling comes back in production after 7 days, a corrugated cardboard box, in 14 days.”
What are the main problems?
“The Italian paper industry has invested considerably in paper collection and it now risks being penalized just for its ability to manage the situation in a proactive way. The main competitors outside the EU, such as China, have access to our secondary raw materials fields without meeting the costs and without the same environmental obligations.”
So, what happens?
“We are working in order to implement those principles according to which, in order to avoid environmental dumping, non-European companies must operate in line with the same European recycling practices, respecting environmental standards.”
As far as collection is concerned, are companies satisfied?
“Collection is a key element for environmental sustainability. The national increase rate, which is a sign of improved infrastructure for the collection of paper, has occurred thanks to the contribution offered by Comieco, with its member paper mills and processors. This has reduced the disposal in landfills, expanding the flow of separate collection of urban waste, while lowering imports, now relegated to particular types of pulp paper not available in sufficient quantity in our country.”