In the long history of papermaking, papermaking uses a variety of raw materials, including cotton, flax, bark, jute and straw. For centuries, the most important raw material was rags. Therefore, there is a long tradition of producing paper from secondary raw materials such as rags and waste paper. As early as the 1970s, many types of paper in Italy were produced from straw collected in rural areas.
However, the use of wood-based initial resources is relatively new. It has been less than 100 years since it was widely adopted. At the same time, in countries with Limited timber resources, the only way for a domestic industry to develop is to import basic raw materials and recycle them after use.
Recycling solutions of paper has become an important raw material in Europe and Japan. To meet this requirement, recycling and collection systems have also been developed. With the development of paper industry, the society has undergone fundamental changes.
The paper recycling business has increased the demand for protective packaging in the transport process. Waste disposal has become an urgent problem. Although recycling is customary to some cardboard types, higher recycling rates became an important component of environmental policy in the 1980s. The EC Recycling Legislation in 1991 promotes the reuse, recycling of secondary raw materials.
Within the European Union, recycled paper provides 50% of the raw material for paper recycling production, and the proportion is still growing. With regard to the use of recycled paper, this process is gradually driven by industry's concern for the economy.
In Italy in the 1970s, the use of recycled paper was 1 million tons, with a total paper production of 3.5 million tons. In 2004, of the 9.7 million tons of production, the production of recycled paper was 5.5 million tons, an increase of 28%. The domestic collection of paper recycling exceeded domestic demand for the first time.
Waste paper recycling is classified according to international standards and raw materials. The recycled old paper is transported to the factory for re-pulping and production of new paper products. In this way, recycled paper will never be discarded.
In Italy, there are boxes specially designed for collecting paper, which are sent directly to paper mills without the treatment mentioned above. Material includes paper edges and cuttings provided by bookbinding workers, unsold newspapers and magazines, and catalogue papers collected from offices and homes. In Italy, old telephone directories are sent directly to paper mills. This provides a "closed loop" for the use and reuse of materials.
One of the best examples of the Italian paper cycle is the practical cooperation between self-sticking label suppliers and end users. End-users collect labels by category and recycle them in paper mills, which saves the cost of putting waste into landfills. Paper mills pay end-users the cost of transporting raw materials to paper mills. As a result, label makers have reduced the amount of waste in garbage dumps. It can be seen from this that cooperation among participants in mitigation can develop environmental protection programs in addition to government regulations.