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China’s papermaking industry experiences make-over, becomes more environmentally friendly

By Sun Wenyu (People's Daily Online)    16:52, November 03, 2017

China’s papermaking industry has become more environmentally friendly after years of efforts, Jia Feng, director of the Center of Environmental Education and Communications of Ministry of Environmental Protection, said in Beijing on Nov. 3.

Jia made the remarks at the 2017 China Paper Industry Sustainability Forum. According to him, China’s paper industry has experienced a make-over after two decades of development.

Papermaking enterprises used to take environmental protection as an approach to meet regulations and consumers’ needs, Jia said. Nowadays, these enterprises see green development as important for the future of the industry.

The emission of chemical oxygen demand (COD) per 10,000 RMB ($1,510) of paper productivity stood at 54 kilograms in 2006, said Zhao Wei, chief secretary of China Paper Association. By 2016, it dropped below 5 kilograms, a reduction of over 90%.

“The paper industry accounted for more than 50% of China’s COD reduction, making a remarkable contribution to the country’s emission reduction,” the chief secretary noted.

Given stricter environmental policies, raised emission standards, and enhanced environmental supervision, enterprises that failed to meet the national requirements have been shut down.

In addition, the raised threshold of environmental protection is also forcing papermakers to change their production mode.

APP-China, short for Sinar Mas Paper (China) Investment Co., Limited, is one of the largest papermakers in China, with over 30 pulp and paper enterprises and 18 forestry companies. According to Vice President Zhai Jingli, 40% of the company’s investment this year has been spent on environmental protection. The company has invested tens of billions of RMB on effective utilization and environmental innovation.

Jia said that green manufacturing is a long path, adding that some small-scaled paper enterprises with outdated technologies and ideas still have to further accelerate their pace.

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