French recycled paper in vein thanks to China

Decryption. In France the paper industry is doing well. " L e turnover of the whole sector has appreciated by 3%" in 2017, rejoices the French Union of Cardboard, Paper and Cellulose Industries (Copacel) in a press release . These good figures are not only the result of the improvement in French activity. Neither even European. The policy of China also comes into play. Explanation.

Less waste imported into China …

Since 1 er January 2018, China prohibits the import into its territory of 24 categories of solid waste, including mixed papers. Until then, the country imported paper and cardboard mixes to recycle (PCR) from Europe and especially France. With a drastic drop in the export of its waste paper, the Hexagon " is left with a surplus of raw material" says Jean Miroux, director in charge of the circular economy in Copacel, contacted by Sciences et Avenir .

… Falling prices in France …

If the supply of recycling is reduced, the demand remains the same. Who says fewer companies to work the same amount of PCR, says lower prices of raw material. " This is an opportunity for all European and French papermakers" told AFP Yves Herbault, vice president of Copacel. He believes that in the short term, for paper manufacturers who use paper and cardboard to recycle, overall it is a windfall effect. " Even a relief for Jean Miroux:" We can to blow a little after the last price increases. " But this rejoicing may be short-lived for the recycling industry.

… The quality with?

The Copacel buys mainly cardboard, press-paper and graphic paper not mixed with the collection companies.These ensure the sorting of different PCR materials.With China no longer accepting mixed solids, Copacel fears to end up buy goods less sorted. " We could find in Europe, in France, products of less good quality '", envisaged Yves Herbault.He estimates that the collectors " ] will increase the p and will increase their sorting capabilities to provide good quality products to China " . The case to be followed, on March 18, 2018, World Recycling Day .