Ink threat to newsprint recycling

The Government is discussing with industry the possibility that a significant increase in the use of flexographic presses to print newspapers may compromise the quality of recycled newsprint, Environment Minister Elliot Morley has revealed.1

About 10% of the UK's newsprint is printed using flexographic presses, said Mr Morley. WRAP, the Government's Waste and Resources Action Programme, will be assessing the technical issues associated with the de-inking of this paper.

Mr Morley also quoted figures from the Government's municipal waste management survey for 2001-02 which suggest that kerbside collections of paper and card will soon be overtaken by those for putrescibles. Up to now these have largely comprised garden waste, but some local authorities may also start collecting kitchen waste now that that it has been confirmed that compost made with such material can be used (ENDS Report 341, pp 47-48 ).

Collections of paper and card rose by 8% between 1999/2000 and 2000/01 and by 5% between 2000/01 and 2001/02 to reach 959,000 tonnes. Collections of material for composting rose by 19% and 18%, respectively, to reach 940,000 tonnes.

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