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on the UK's Paper-based Industries

  • The global Paper Industry is a relatively small user of wood; only around 11% of the wood extracted from the world’s forests is used in paper and pulp production.

  • Of the fibres used to make paper in the UK, over 70% comes from paper collected for recycling by households and businesses. The rest comes mainly from virgin wood fibre from trees grown in sustainably managed forests.

  • Between 1990 and 2013, the total energy used to make a tonne of paper in the UK (the “specific energy consumption”) fell by 36%.  The sector has invested in biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant in recent years, resulting in specific emissions from fossil fuel falling by an impressive 46% since 1990.

  • The papermaking sector emitted 2.1 million tonnes of fossil-derived carbon dioxide in 2013 – this is more than 2 million tonnes lower than the total emitted in 1990.  Production in 2013 was 4.6m tonnes, in 1990 it was 4.9m tonnes.

  • UK consumption of paper in 2013 was just under 10m tonnes. Given that 1m tonnes of UK production was exported, it means that nearly two thirds of paper consumed in the UK was imported (with embedded carbon).

  • Over 80% of all corrugated cardboard boxes are recycled, giving the Corrugated Industry the best UK recycling rate of all packaging materials.

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......© Confederation of Paper Industries, 1 Rivenhall Road, Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 7BD