Counting the cost of fibre contamination
A key principle of recycling is that you get out what you put in. Quality in, quality out is a mantra we often hear from reprocessors. It’s a challenge for a paper or card-recycling mill to make it happen. Figures vary from country to country, but typically 70-75 per cent of paper and card is recycled in European countries and around 65 per cent in the United States. As the various grades of paper-based products make their way on the recycling journey, these are often mixed with other materials. This is true even where there are specialised containers for collecting paper and cardboard.
For the companies that recycle fibre, understanding and taming contamination is a major business requirement. Doing it well makes a huge difference to the operating margin. Below we look at the root issues and tech solutions.