Environmental Bill Irks Paper Industry
Economy, Domestic Economy

Environmental Bill Irks Paper Industry

The forest protection bill recently proposed to the Parliament has come under criticism by owners of pulp and paper industries, arguing that it would have negative impact on the sector.

The new bill, proposed by Masoumeh Ebtekar, the head of Department of Environment, aims to stop commercial exploitation of forests.

Managing director of Mazandaran Wood and Paper Industry Complex, Abolfazl Roghani Golpayegani objected to the bill in a meeting with Mazandaran Province’s forestry officials, noting that it would put thousands of people out of work, IRNA reported.

Mazandaran Wood and Paper Industry Complex recently launched a paper recycling plant for production of old corrugated containers (OCC) which reduces wood consumption by 30%. But Golpayegani said the industry is not yet prepared to cut its reliance on forest wood.

He suggested that the authorities should give paper industries a five-year respite before implementing the new bill so that they can adjust to the new decision.

“The country’s demand for paper is two million tons per year. Of this, the domestic industries are only capable of producing less than a million tons annually, while the remaining is supplied through imports,” he said.

Parliament member Seyed Hadi Hosseini also is against the bill, saying: “The methods of forest exploitation should be revised rather than stopping it altogether.”

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