Sustainability: Paper Recovery & Recycling

In NZ, just 58% of the paper and paperboard consumed is recycled every year yet it is one of the most recycled of all materials. The NZ paper value chain is committed to maximising paper recycling rates, reducing barriers that hamper the ability to recycle paper.

Recycling paper is the most eco-efficient waste management option, and the use of recycled fibres complements the need for virgin wood fibre to meet societal demand for paper and board products.


Increase Paper Recycling

The paper recycling process starts with you. Once you have consumed a paper product, it can be placed in the recycling bin and collected alongside other used paper products from businesses, households and offices.

In 2020, Australia recycled 87% of all paper and paperboard consumed, making Australia the paper recycling champion with the highest rate globally.


Recycling Lifespan

Paper cannot be recycled indefinitely as the fibres get too short and worn out to be useful. Also, production cannot be based on 100% recycled fibre as 100% consumption cannot be collected (eg. Sanitary products, insulation use, etc). 

The cycle must therefore constantly be refilled with new strong virgin fibres from sustainably managed forests.


An Essential Raw Material

To maintain quality, it is important that paper is collected separately from other materials. It can be sorted and graded to determine the end uses for which it will be suitable.

The recovered paper is then mixed with water so that the fibres can be recovered. During this process, contaminants are removed, the fibres cleaned and, if necessary, ink is removed.

The resulting pulp may then be used to produce 100% recycled paper, or mixed with virgin fibre.


The paper making process is a sustainable cycle. Recyclability is one of the key environmental benefits of cellulose fibres, together with renewability, biodegradability y and CO2 mitigating role of sustainably managed forests.


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