Economy, Domestic Economy

Green Investment in Recycling Paper

Green Investment in Recycling Paper Green Investment in Recycling Paper

Recycling has been a common practice for most of the human history. But the importance of recycling has become more evident over the past century with the growth in population which has raised concerns about shortage of raw materials and environmental pollution.

The paper recycling segment of the scrap recycling industry collects, sorts and processes the recovered fiber into usable paper with different grades. Recycling paper conserves natural resources, saves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and keeps landfill space free for other types of trash that cannot be recycled.

Recycling one ton of newsprint saves about 1 ton of wood while recycling 1 ton of printing or copier paper saves slightly more than 2 tons of wood. International research shows that recycling paper consumes 40-60% less energy than making paper with unrecycled pulp. Paper products also comprise a large component of municipal solid waste, making up about 35-40% of the composition of landfills.

In Iran, some 120 companies produce about 750,000-800,000 tons of paper and cardboard annually, according to a report by Persian newspaper Forsat-e Emruz.  This is while demand for paper and cardboard is more than 2 million tons per year, according to industry sources.

While recovered paper comprises more than half of the paper used in the United States and 75% of the raw material used for paper production in Mexico, paper recycling is still a young industry in Iran.

In March this year, managing director of Mazandaran Wood and Paper Industry Company, Abolfazl Roghani Golpayegani announced plans to launch a paper recycling plant with 120,000 tons in annual capacity, Tasnim News Agency reported. The plant, which is expected to become operational next year, would be the country’s first large-scale paper recycling unit.

Chairman of the Iranian Paper and Cardboard Manufacturers Association, Seyyed Taher Shobeiri believes investing in the paper recycling sector could generate considerable value added and meet part of the paper industry’s demand for raw material. Creating jobs and protecting the environment are among other benefits of investing in the sector.

 Required Investment

The amount of investment required for this business varies greatly depending on the grade of paper to be produced, scale of production and the machinery and equipment. In general, those interested in entering the sector can invest anything from 1 billion ($30,000 at market exchange rate) to 100 billion rials ($3 million), but experts believe targeting annual production capacity below 120,000 tons is not economically feasible due to the country’s current economic conditions.