CEPI members produced 92.2 million tonnes of paper and board, keeping the same level of production than in 2017, and benefiting from a healthy economic environment.
For the first time since 1990s, the sector opened 9 new mills and created 2,000 more jobs with a total increased turnover of +3%. While there continued to be an increased production in packaging, hygiene and speciality paper sectors, graphic paper was still declining following a reduction in demand.
Exports of paper and board products are growing, especially to North America, with 20.6 million tonnes in total, +1.1% compared to 2017 and imports are going up by 3.3%.
However, the 2018 recycling rate, i.e. proportion of the paper and board consumption that has been recycled, is slightly down from 72.4% to 71.6% due to trade flows, namely a significant export erosion of paper for recycling (-6.1%).
Jori Ringman, CEPI director general, said: “Our 2018 Key Statistic report demonstrates once again that our industry is fast-transforming, creating jobs and believing in its capacity to grow in Europe putting into practice a true circular bioeconomy model”.