Current Trends in Recyclable Paper Products

Sustainability is the name of the game!

From igniting up a haystack using flint stones to lighting up skies with fireworks to firing rockets to the moon and mars, the world has come so far ahead of the times when nature used to be the art of God. The nature we interact with today is more like a man-made globe. Star-wars-like flying cars, X-men-like flying men, driverless trains, humanoid robots, the world is relishing the latest technologies, and manufacturing units are equipped to bring every imagination, howsoever crazy, of humans to reality. But plastic pollution, the improper use of natural resources, and the scarcity of cheap recycled products are the flies in the ointment. And the industries now know the answer – Sustainability! Yes, the same term you are hearing everywhere these days and seeing written all over the ongoing EXPO2020, the talk of the town! But knowing the solution to any problem is just the beginning. So many industries worldwide have already got the ball rolling by participating in a circular ecology to give the world a better tomorrow while paving a path to sustainability for others. Embracing various sustainable options such as recyclable, biodegradable and combustible stocks along with renewable energy, manufacturers today keep the environment safety on their radar, whether they are producing labels or garments. Numerous industries rely on paper allied to tree-cutting for their raw material. Paper recycling indeed, is the key to unlocking the doors to a sustainable tomorrow. 


Paper production causes deforestation, harmful emissions into the environment and solid wastes elevating mountains of landfills but thankfully it can be recycled like other recyclables – batteries, plastics, and glass. About 57 million tons of paper are collected for recycling purposes in Europe. In 2021, Geminor, one of the leading resource management companies, tackled over 1.73 million tonnes of waste in Europe. Industries world over are responding to a global priority and consumer call for “go green”. And the joy of joys is that over 80% of the world population revere businesses and brands that embrace green, environmentally-friendly practices, reveals a global survey. 

Paper Recycling & Recycled Paper Products

Paper recycling or recovering is a process performed to turn waste paper into new paper commodities. The world is getting smitten with recycled paper products! Office papers, tissues, toilet rolls, napkins, paper towels, greeting cards, cardboard, newsprints, magazines, coffee filters, diapers, egg cartons, shoe boxes, napkins, insulation, fibre board, packaging material, and even animal bedding, recycled paper commodities have become a part and parcel of our life. However, only a few people are aware of the wonderful products that could be carved out of used or waste paper. Recycling breathes new life to already dead papers that come from live trees and plants. “Reduce”, “Reuse” and “Recycle” are the only medicines that can heal human-injured earth! And because we all share the planet, it automatically becomes everyone’s duty to keep it hale and hearty. 

Objective: Why recycled paper products?

Recycled paper products have become the need of the hour. Do we need to mention why? In the light of ever-growing carbon footprints and pollution, pressing concern towards climate change and environment and rapidly depleting natural resources, it’s vitally important to build a recycling culture in our homes, offices, and schools. Utilising recycled paper commodities saves resources and reduces the paper industry’s impact on the planet. What’s healthy for the planet is healthy for us! Most people would agree that using recycled paper products is one “simple” activity that enables them to do their part in bettering the environment. The world is going green. Every country is bending over backwards to promote recycling. While the progress is promising, we still have a long way to go. 

Benefits of recycled paper commodities

Neither humans nor things, it’s the environment that wins! Speaking of the advantages of producing items out of recycled paper, they are countless. From reducing deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, landfills, smog-causing pollution, energy and water consumption (up to 70%) to preserving natural resources. Did you know that the production of paper worth just one dollar consumes more than 6 gallons (22.71 litres) of water. You might be surprised to learn that converting one ton of recycled paper into meaningful products saves 17 trees (about 53,040 pounds of oxygen per year) and more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. And best of all, recycled paper cuts down solid waste by 29%


  • A paper can’t be recycled more than seven times, as the fibres become too short and weak to adhere to one another. For instance, a recycled paper towel is the last recycled product in the chain and has to end up in a landfill as it is a contaminated waste. 
  • The hygiene-conscious consumer segment still gives a wide berth to the washroom products made of recycled paper. 
  • Quality and price remain top consumer concerns, creating a challenge for organizations to deliver recycled and recyclable products at minimal additional cost. 
  • Many paper recyclers have trouble effectively recycling the huge amounts of materials they produce. Waste and by-products pile up as a result of overproduction, defective products, and supply chain changes. 
  • Despite being an innovation-based industry, not every paper recycling factory is using advanced technology and world-class equipment like paper pulper machines to derive the final product without polluting the environment or consuming too much energy. If the recycled paper industry will not relinquish traditional recycling methods and regular machinery for the paper recycling process, they will have an immense counter impact on the environment. 
  • Recycled paper is without a doubt a healthy choice for the planet but unfortunately not for humans. Chemicals used to de-ink and re-bleach the waste papers like newspapers, pamphlets, catalogues, study material, and tossed school papers are toxic. Most finished recycled paper commodities demand more wood pulp to be added. 
  • According to researchers, the concentration of bacteria in the recycled paper is found between 100- to 1,000-fold higher than the virgin wood pulp brand. Similarly, recycled toilet paper may contain chemical BPA traces. 
  • Not every kind of used paper is recyclable. For example, recycled toilet paper and paper towels are used for the first and last time. However, empty rolls are recycled with cardboard. All three paper items can be composted, tho. 

Companies with a long history of experience in the field are at their toe to address displacements in the inbound stream of recyclables. Although the pandemic placed the demand for single-use plastic on an upward trajectory, it couldn’t kick paper products out of the market. With the speed at which the anti-plastic movement is gathering steam, consumers from all walks of life have already started viewing recyclable paper commodities as a more environmentally-friendly solution than plastics at which the anti-plastic movement is gathering steam, consumers from all walks of life have already started viewing recyclable paper commodities as a more environmentally-friendly solution than plastics. 

Impact of COVID-19 on the paper industry

The pandemic is just the tip of the iceberg! We’ve got to pay heed to the consequences the world is grappling with, including the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of Covid-19 healthcare waste that has been putting tremendous strain on environment protection entities across the world for the last two years. Overstating the impact of the international pandemic on countless worldwide industries including the recycled paper industry is beyond the bounds of possibility. The paper industry including waste paper, paper mills, including kraft paper makers, and corrugated or packing box manufacturing sectors have been affected badly. The widespread travel bans and import/export restrictions badly affected the way that paper businesses had been able to manage their clients. 

We all witnessed the mad dash of people for paper goods and other home essentials early on when lockdowns and other precautionary measures were first looming. The rising demand for hygienic products and stockpiling of various paper goods by people priming for quarantine didn’t let some companies and factories shut their doors. As some facets of the industry were able to keep the ball rolling, to some extent the paper industry sidestepped what could have been a much larger backup in the supply chain. 

Effect on Demand & Supply, future Predictions

Last two years were nothing if not turbulent for the recycled paper commodity market worldwide in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. While India starved of waste paper and cuttings supply due to excessive container shortage, lack of waste paper supply from US and Europe, the major paper raw material exporters, and non-stop export of recycled pulp to China, developed nations also had to see the worst time in terms of volumes, logistics, transport, and varying market mechanisms during the coronavirus pandemic. Imports of waste paper were severely affected by the second wave of the pandemic in Europe after a narrow squeak late last year. According to paper recyclers and brokers, just like last two years, demand for raw material required to manufacture paper products is likely to surpass supply this year as well, which is certain to inflate all grades of recycled paper. And due to continuous requests for recycled paper across the world the production has not slowed too much as of the first week of January. 

Pricing Distribution

At present, because the demand for many recycled paper commodities is historically low, the competition among paper goods producers is ferocious. Paper businesses are playing a fragile game, vying against one other for a handful of consumers buying their offerings. As a result, for some companies, their margins are getting as thin as the paper they sell. This means that prices are record low, but that’s injuring paper companies because the cost for their raw materials is, concurrently, increasing. Usually, recycled paper goods manufacturers depend on a continuous supply of reprocessed used paper for its raw materials. This year, the collection of those recyclables has hugely halted, pushing up the cost for the source material that does exist. Paper businesses now are bound to procure raw material required at steep prices they require to make paper commodities, but, due to miserable demand, aren’t afraid to increase the prices they used to charge their customers. Overall, pricing remained steady in 2021, if not rose. Looking at the current year, despite demand and pricing softened for most recovered paper goods in December last year, recovered paper items markets will remain robust in the first quarter of 2022 if we go by the predictions made by most paper packers and traders. Despite the spiked-up demand for recovery paper machines in 2021 and prices of paperboard, containerboard, and packaging made of reprocessed paper off late, there is no doubt that the recovered paper prices won’t be on an upward trajectory forever. If we listen to what recyclers say, current demand doesn’t seem to settle down overnight, nor prices to take a big dip in the near-term future. 

Future Predictions

The global production of pulp and paper is likely to reach 490 million tons and global shipping volume to outstrip 100 billion parcels in 2022, projects Pitney Bowes. While some are still living in a world of make-believe, a majority of consumers worldwide are showing their concern towards the environment by changing their shopping habits. They want to make responsible ‘green’ purchases but do not always have the means to do so. For brands, this is an opportunity. After all, within the soil of crisis, hides the seeds of opportunities! 

COVID-19 Omicron variant might negatively impact recycled paper markets. However, despite the pandemic released upsets, most consumers across the globe, especially in the developed nations, are sure to make a dent in products made of scrap paper. As we continue to chip away at the pandemic, just like many other industries, paper-based companies are also seeking ways to work through the mayhem of previously anticipated markets. Bit by bit, consumption is back on the upswing. Last year consumers were making most of their purchasing online, however, this year we can see swarms of customers darting around the supermarkets and shopping malls stuffing their shopping carts with wares wrapped in eco-friendly packaging. Anyway, whether online or offline, purchases are not going to cease and packaging material made of recovered paper will continue to stay in demand. However, due to the demand-supply imbalance, paper industries globally might see fluctuations in the price of recycled paper products. The low supply of recycled raw material is likely to push the costs up for paper businesses to manufacture their goods, and the availability of the raw material might continue to be treacherous in 2022 as well.  

Summing Up

The world is made of two communities – provider and consumer. The latter has to accept what the former provides. Just like quality, sustainability also comes at a premium. For instance, consumers who love to buy meals from McDonald’s pay for the recycled paper-derived packaging as well without paying heed to it. If you are living under the rock, the world’s top-ranking fast-food chain sources the majority (99.6 percent) of its packaging including paper bags, food wrappers, napkins, and cup carriers from recycled and sustainable fibre. Recyclable paper products are gaining momentum worldwide more than ever, and the majority of the world’s population is already “loving it.” An ever-growing number of consumers ditching plastics and embracing recyclable/recycled paper products, cite the statement. And that’s glad tidings for everyone! 

Partner with Us

As the world is heading to a sustainable future, opening a paper-recycling company is a smart idea.If Dubai is the place your heart is set on, Adam Global is the place to be for you! Our some of the best Dubai Business Advisors will assist you in setting up your company in Dubai, UAE from scratch. Be sure to take advantage of our years of experience in dealing with almost every aspect of business from obtaining a trade licence to registering a firm in mainland or free zone to scaling up the businessto managing the day-to-day financial affairs. We are also available if you are in need of any sort of audit and accounting services in Dubai or any other emirate of the UAE. Call us today to schedule a free consultation

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