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Spain’s Paper Industry Sees Renewed Growth

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Recycling Today, Valley View, Ohio, featured an article on Monday of this week detailing recently released Spanish Association of Pulp and Paper Manufacturers (ASPAPEL) reports. The report shows Spain’s paper industry has experienced renewed growth in the second quarter of 2015 (4.6% in April and 5.7% in May), and for the first time last year the industry posted a 2.8% increase in paper consumption. This is after what the article described as several years of consistent declines.

According to ASPAPEL’s report, the 2014 recovery followed a period of annual declines in paper consumption, after reaching an all-time high of 7.9 million metric tons in 2006.

In Spain, hygienic and sanitary grades did, however, fall by 2.6%. Cartonboard saw a 2.9% increase and corrugated paper increased by 3.3%. The category of "other" packaging related to fiber based construction had the highest growth rate at 5.7%. 

The reports stated the paper industry has opened a new investment cycle, growing by 23% in 2014. This compares with EU paper industry investments up by 2.2% in 2014. According to ASPAPEL, 2014 investments totaled EUR 183 million. "We’re industry and we lay claim to industry, the real economy, that generates added value and wealth, that creates jobs, that invests and innovates," states Eduardo Querol, chairman of ASPAPEL. 

The growth of exports, along with reduced imports in recent years also helped the Spanish paper industry, ASPAPEL noted. During the "crisis" period from 2007 to 2013, Spanish paper production fell only half a million metric tons, due to growth of exports and reduced imports. 

The report said that accident rates in the paper industry have been reduced to less than half since 2006, according to the association’s Fourth Paper Industry Sustainability Report published in July 2015. 

According to the report, the collection of paper for recycling increased 4.1% in 2014. 

Some 80% of the wood and 72% of wastepaper (raw materials) for the Spanish pulp and paper industry are locally sourced according to the report. As well, 81% of process waste is recovered and used for energy recovery in the mill, for direct agricultural use, for composting, and for use as raw materials in other industries was detailed in the text.

ASPAPEL's full fourth annual sustainability report can be read online.

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