Less paper and cardboard without natural gas

13-Apr-2022 - Germany

From packaging to toilet paper: A possible supply stop for Russian gas/order_t/'>natural gas as a result of the Ukraine war could significantly affect paper production, according to industry sources. "A gas embargo would practically mean an area-wide production stop for the paper industry," Alexander von Reibnitz, the chief executive of the industry association Die Papierindustrie, told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Photo by Alexandra Tran on Unsplash

With a share of 55 percent, natural gas is the most important fuel in the industry, he said. Only 15 percent of the 26 terrawatt hours of natural gas needed annually could be replaced by other energy sources by next winter.

According to von Reibnitz, a production stop would affect food and medicine packaging, for example, as well as hygiene papers for medicine, care and for the home, special papers such as filters and measuring strips, and printing paper for newspapers, magazines, catalogs or brochures.

Because more and more cardboard boxes are being shipped as a result of online retailing, and because retailers are replacing more plastic packaging with paper, demand for paper in Germany had recently increased. Factories increased their capacities, and more than 23 million tons were produced in 2021. Waste paper imports reached record levels; no country imports more waste paper than Germany.

In Europe, every third ton of recovered paper is recycled in Germany, according to industry data. For one ton of paper, 0.79 tons of recovered paper are used. The rest is pulp, pigments and other materials.

Without natural gas, 50,000 tons of recovered paper per day could not be processed, the association warned. According to the report, companies also fear damage to their machines if they stand idle for long periods.

According to the Ministry of Economics, Germany has the fourth largest paper industry in the world after China, the USA and Japan.

Just under half of its production of paper, cardboard and board is exported./bf/DP/stk (dpa)

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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