Water & Waste - Mexico

Paper, cardboard recycling industry ranked 4th in world

Paper, cardboard recycling industry ranked 4th in world

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Some 80% of Mexico's production of paper and cardboard comes from recycled materials and the country now collects around 2 million tonnes (Mt) of these products for reuse, the environment ministry (Semarnat) was cited as saying by daily Reforma.

Mexico is the fourth ranked country in the world in terms of recycling efficiency in this area and is the leader in Latin America, while in Europe, 60% of paper and cardboard production comes from recycled material and in the US the figure is 42%.

Figures from the national institute of recyclers (Inare) confirm that each year around 2Mt of paper and cardboard is collected, which at 0.60 pesos per kilo means that this market is worth around 2bn pesos a year (US$179mn).

Paper and cardboard account for approximately 10% of the 9,000t of garbage that is produced in the country each day and this means that the recycling market could be even bigger, according to Arturo Dávila, CEO of Mexican environmental services firm Sustenta Soluciones.

The main sources of the paper that is currently recycled in Mexico are surpluses from paper plants themselves, as well as collection centers and landfill sites, where garbage pickers separate recyclable material.

The price of this used paper and cardboard depends on its quality, and there are more than 50 categories of paper quality identified in the recycling business. Obviously, when cellulose prices are high, the paper recycling business becomes more profitable.