Guide

Collecting and processing recycling materials

Recycling paper

The UK consumes around 12.5 million tonnes of paper and board every year, of which over 4.7 million tonnes ends up in landfill. The market for recycled paper is increasing as businesses come to realise the benefits:

  • potential reductions in their waste collection costs
  • a reduction in energy use and carbon dioxide emissions when the paper is produced, increasing their environmental credentials and supporting their corporate social responsibility agenda

Global trade in recovered paper has also grown considerably over the past few years, as other developed countries improve their collection rates. Less-developed countries have increased their demand for recovered paper, meaning that you may be able to tap into the export market for potential growth.

If you are intending to start recycling paper, or to expand the amount you recycle and reprocess, you should look into the market conditions for recycled paper materials. Standards for paper recycling

Standards for paper recycling

Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 105 contains good practice for collecting, handling and processing recovered paper for recycling within UK end-markets. Meeting its requirements can help you demonstrate the quality of your processes and products to your customers.

PAS 105 covers:

  • how to keep paper clean, fresh and dry
  • collection types - sorted, co-mingled and single stream
  • how to avoid contamination
  • design of storage bays
  • dealing with rejected loads
  • the definition of common grades and how to grade by description
  • educating and encouraging users to recycle their paper
  • requirements for materials intended to come into contact with foodstuffs

You can download an introduction to PAS 105 on recovered paper (PDF, 575K).