Rules on paper

Published: Sunday 30 April 1995

-- CANADIAN and US newsprint producers are increasingly evading their governments' environmental regulations which require a recycled content of 4060 per cent in newsprint. "But when there is a shortage of newsprint, nobody worries about how much recycled content you have in it," said a senior executive in a Canadian firm. And the manufacturers are putting pressure on the authorities to turn a blind eye to these deliberate slip-ups.

The shortage is mainly due to increasing exports to the fast-growing Southeast Asian markets. The industry has also suffered a setback due to a steep rise in the price of old newspapers (ONP) used for recycling. ONP prices have shot up over the past year from us $20 a tonne to us $120 a tonne, goading some producers to replace recycled pulp with cheaper fibre.

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