UK Paper Industry Calls for Change in Manufacturing Policy

UK Paper Industry Calls for Change in Manufacturing Policy

CPI expresses concern over legislative initiatives that it says jeopardize the United Kingdom's paper industry.

September 26, 2012
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Paper

The U.K.-based Confederation of Paper Industries has released a statement expressing concern over government policies and initiatives that it says may have a negative impact on the paper industry in the U.K.

In the statement, David Workman, CPI director general, calls for significant changes to the paper industry in the country. In defense of the industry, Workman points out that the U.K. paper industry includes 50 paper and paperboard mills and accounts for around 25,000 jobs in the country.

Highlighting the environment efforts of the U.K. paper industry, Workman says that since 1990 the industry has reduced its energy consumption and carbon emissions by more than 30 percent and has invested more than £10 billion (US$16.2 billion) in equipment and combined heat and power and on-site biomass plants. Meanwhile the paper recycling rate in the U.K. stands at 73 percent.

The CPI adds that despite these successes, government policy is acting as a disincentive to further investment and could result in the closure of many mills over the next decade. Potentially the most damaging of the policies, CPI points out, is the Carbon Price Floor, which comes into effect in 2013. At £16 per metric ton, it could cost the paper industry more than twice the amount paid by EU competitors. Further, the rate is due to increase by £2 per metric ton every year, until 2020. CPI calls for the U.K. government to abandon plans to implement the tax.

The CPI also finds fault with the new climate change agreements (CCAs) coming into force next year. According to CPI, the U.K.’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has set an arbitrary target calling for the U.K. paper industry to reduce energy use an additional 14 percent.