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China's demand for recycled wastepaper: A blessing and a curse for the world's forests
RRI partner Forest Trends published a new report in their series on China and Forest Trade in the Asia-Pacific Region. The report is titled Environmental Aspects of China's Papermaking Industry. As highlighted in a Science Daily article analyzing the report, the Chinese papermaking industry has both positive and negative impacts on the environment.
On the positive side, the industry absorbs more and more wastepaper coming from the US, Europe and Japan: as much as 65 million metric tons of wastepapers have been recycled over the last four years, instead of ending up in landfills. This growing demand ensures the viability of recycling programs in developed countries, and has a "stabilizing effect on the global market for wastepaper" (Kerstin Canby).
On the other hand, the demand for high quality paper is also rising, and cannot be met through wastepaper recycling alone. Consequently, China increasingly imports pulp and pulpwood. While over 60% of these imports come from sustainably managed forests, a significant share originates from countries with low forest governance capacity such as Eastern Russia and Indonesia, contributing to the lack of sustainability of their forest sector through illegal logging. Schemes to better track wood along the supply chain are necessary to counter these effects.
Read the report here.
Posted By Anne-Sophie Samjee at 10:00am on July 16, 2007
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