The Australian pulp and paper industry is a diverse sector producing a range of paper and paperboard products, including tissue, printing and writing papers, newsprint and packaging papers. The paper industry directly employs 18,000 people with an annual sales income of over $9 billion from total production of around 3 million tonnes.
The inherent environmental strengths of paper include the fact that it can be made from renewable sources with carbon sequestration and recycling benefits. Paper recycling rates in Australia are amongst the highest in the world with over 87% of all paper and paperboard consumed being recovered. At its plant in Albury New South Wales, for example, Norske Skog recycles 100,000 tonnes of old newspapers and magazines each year as part of its production of newsprint. Australian Paper’s recent investment in a recycled paper production facility for office paper will also divert up to 80,000 tonnes of waste paper per annum from landfill.
The Australian paper industry is proud of its high standards of environmental and social responsibility. These standards are often not the same as for imported products where there can be risks of products sourced from illegal logging, areas with poor forestry or industrial environmental practices or with inadequate safety and labour conditions.