Paper sector: positive prospects for 2024 

According to the most recent analyzes by Assocarta, at the end of the last year the production of paper and cardboard in Italy was around 7.5 million tons, with a drop of 14%, compared to the volumes of two years ago.

An important decrease for the paper sector, mainly influenced by a reduced demand for paper and cardboard, which led to a reduction in volumes produced in 2023.

However, the industry outlook for the first quarter of 2024 indicates an overall slight improvement, compared to the previous two quarters.

Despite the overall decrease in production, the use rate of raw material increased, standing at 67% in 2024 compared to 62% in 2022, a growth influenced by the increased use of recycled paper.

The recycling market of the Italian paper sector

Thanks to the widespread presence of plants throughout Italy and a strong increase in exports, the packaging recycling rate in Italy remains above the European average and the EU target for 2025.

The Italian paper sector confirms itself among the most virtuous in Europe: in 2022, the recycling rate for paper rose from 72.8% to 75.9%, while for packaging it was 81.20%.

That said, there are many other factors to consider when talking about the future prospects of the sector. Among these, the most important are certainly the global geopolitical crisis, the volatility of raw material prices and the non-technological barriers that weigh on the sector. 

Difficulties that do not seem to discourage companies that recover materials from waste, which continue to strive to increase the circular use of materials and find innovative solutions to deal with the complexities of the markets.

Competition in the sector of treatment and recovery of raw materials from waste is in fact of fundamental importance in order to encourage development and innovation, avoiding monopolization that would damage the entire supply chain. 

Supporting a circular economy and promoting policies that favor the recycling and recovery of materials are crucial activities to guarantee the sustainability and competitiveness of the Italian paper sector in the long term.

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