DS Smith’s Head of Recycling presents at the Paper Recycling Conference Europe

On 8 November 2017, Jochen Behr attended a panel at the Paper and Plastics Recycling Conference Europe.

For over a decade, the Paper Recycling Conference Europe has been the leading event for the paper industry in Europe, with over 250 industry professionals attending every year. It runs alongside the Plastics Recycling Conference Europe, allowing reprocessors from a range of sectors to discuss changes in the industry.

Jochen Behr presented on a panel titled ‘Paper’s Shifting Dynamics’, which explored DS Smith’s focus on quality, contamination, collection systems , and the way that the recovered paper industry is being changed by the rise of online shopping.

Paper’s Shifting Dynamics

DS Smith and the paper supply chain

DS Smith closes the loop in recycling paper and cardboard, which means that we connect with all stages of the paper supply chain. We work with supply customers such as retailers to help them produce quality materials for recycling, which helps our customers realise operational efficiencies and better material values.

Securing a high quality of material from supply customers means that DS Smith is able to supply good quality recycling into our paper mill customers. This makes their production operations run more efficiently, and reduces rejects through contamination.

By understanding these principles, we run a completely circular process. What’s more, we pride ourselves on turning waste into a new product within 14 days.

The dynamics of paper

Paper is a market of shifting dynamics, with the industry shaped by volatile prices, changing availability of fibre, and a focus on quality.

What DS Smith proposes is that market volatility is the new normal. Fluctuations in price will not leave the marketplace any time soon, as container prices and country markets continue to rise and fall. 

Quality is permanent, where price is temporary. A focus on quality, and working towards a circular economy in paper recycling, should remain the industry’s key priority.

How do we achieve quality?

A number of steps will aid in achieving a consistent, high quality fibre supply:

• Reverse logistics – easier segregation of recyclables, utilising existing transport movements.

• Source segregation – keeping recyclables clear of contaminants.

• Stringent quality control throughout the process, from collection through to reprocessing.

• Reducing complexity – make it easy for the end user to recycle.
Whatever the market’s shifts in terms of price, these should always remain a priority.

The future of the paper market

Changing patterns of consumption mean that the mix of papers in the domestic waste stream contains an increasing amount of cardboard packaging.

Our Scenario Video, ‘Caring Convenience’, explores a hypothetical potential future where this has had a significant impact on the way consumers, local authorities and businesses recycle. Take a look :