Of the total amount of waste imported into Serbia, almost 60 percent, about 147,000 tons are paper and cardboard packaging, which is a cost-effective resource for recycling companies.
The capacities of the paper and cardboard industry in Serbia are 350,000 tons a year, and they are expected to be increased by as much as 50 percent in the next three to five years, says Natasa Govedarica, secretary of the Association for Forestry, Wood Processing and Furniture and Paper Industry.
“Paper recycling is one of the important ways to preserve natural resources, reduce waste in landfills and land degradation, water and air pollution,” Govedarica points out.
The recycling process requires 40 percent less energy than the production of cellulose paper, while the emission of pollutants in the air is about 75 percent lower than the production of paper from primary fibers, ie cellulose.
There are two large paper mills in Serbia, Smurfit Kapa Belgrade and Umka Cardboard Factory, and three smaller ones with a total capacity of about 30,000 tons.
The Umka Cardboard Factory, which has a tradition of collecting old paper for recycling for over 80 years, says that paper is ideal for recycling, but that it is important to have the right quality of raw materials and collect this raw material in the right way.
“Almost 60 percent of the raw materials used by our factory were collected on the territory of Serbia.” Umka is the largest recycler of packaging waste paper and cardboard in the country and we can process more than 500 tons per day “, says Miloš Ljušić, director of the Umka Cardboard Factory company.
Proper collection – half the job
The principle of work according to which it is desirable to treat waste as close as possible to the place of origin in order to avoid unwanted effects of transport on the environment, is not applied in our country, explains Ljusic, and with proper paper collection, he says, half the work is done.
Since its privatization in 2003, the Umka cardboard factory has quadrupled its cardboard production capacity, from 45,000 to 160,000 tons. They go towards the processing figures of 250,000 tons per year.
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