Magazines, packaging, printing inks and office paper enrich our everyday lives. But how good are these products for people and the environment? What about recyclability? The joint report by B.A.U.M.and EPEA as part of the Healthy Printing Initiative shows how to design healthy printing products to achieve a new quality of recycling and to make the most of paper as a valuable resource.
More than 400 million tons of paper are produced each year. The global market grows annually by approx. 1.5%, with one driver being the use of paper as a substitute for packaging based on non-degradable plastic from fossil raw materials. In theory, paper is an ideal biological product that can be returned into the biosphere after a cascade use. However, through processing steps such as bleaching or printing, some problematic additives are added that prevent safe recycling.
Thus, every year printed products such as packaging and paper worth about € 13 billion end up in incinerators.
Impurities in paper recycling and contaminants from printing products represent the biggest challenges for the paper industry. These problems are mainly due to the focus on increasing efficiency and adhering to thresholds instead of promoting material and recycling innovations.
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