IPMA -Indian Paper Manufacturers Association
Recycling of Waste Paper

  In India only about 20% waste paper is being currently recovered annually. Low recovery is on account of alternate use of paper in wrapping, packing, etc. Lack of source segregation results in waste paper getting contaminated and becoming unusable.

In comparison in developed countries the percentage of recovery of waste paper is very high. For instance in Germany it is 73%, Sweden 69%, Japan 60%, Western Europe 56%, USA 49% and Italy 45 %.

50% of industry's requirement of waste paper is met through import which is on increase. India lacks collection, sorting and grading system of waste paper for proper utilization. Govt. intervention is necessary to encourage segregation at source and increase recycling to minimise landfill and attendant environmental hazards.

Some of the IPMA members have on their own taken initiatives to procure the waste paper directly from institutes and corporates.

For instance ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division launched the waste paper collection programme called Wealth Out of Waste (WOW) last year in select areas in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Coimbatore and is now expanding it to more areas in South India, including Chennai. In Chennai, it has tied up with 30-40 IT companies including Infosys, IBM, Wipro which would sell their waste paper to ITC for recycling. It also plans to tie up with Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs), NGOs and local bodies to expand the waste paper collection programme.

In India mills depending upon waste paper for recycling are facing a shortage of raw material while the demand is growing as the mills are expanding. This is driving up the cost of waste paper which has gone up to around Rs 10 a kg, almost double of what it used to cost a year ago.

In a recent report, Central Pulp & Paper Research Institute (CPPRI) has stated that by 2010 about half of the global amount of fibers used in papermaking will be recycled fibers. However the report admits that recycled fibre sourcing in India is a challenge. Import of waste paper has increased significantly during 1995-2003 onwards since Industry's dependence is increasing on imported RCP due to inconsistent supply of indigenous RCP and the recovery of indigenous RCP being low due to unorganized collection system IPMA feels paper recycling, in the overall contest of waste management, needs to be looked at as an enterprise. Since recovered paper has potential to substitute a high-cost and inadequate primary raw material, due recognition should be given by the industry as well as the government to this essential secondary raw material.

Delhi Government is running a campaign for increasing the usage of recyclable paper bags.