Recycling of Used Paper Packaging, Socio-economic Perspective
Recycling of any material after use is inevitable for sustainability. It prevents depletion of natural resources and protects the environment. Industries engaged in recycling produce articles of consumption from waste material with lower or no pollution of the environment and at the same time, provide employment opportunities. Hence both developed and developing countries are encouraging the same through incentives and legislations. This is more relevant for India as over half the population is engaged in agriculture, contributing less than 20% to the GDP. Over 65% are below the age of 35 and with growth rate at 1.58% p.a. the population should reach 1.53 billion by 2030. Gainful employment of this huge growing workforce is possible only by setting up manufacturing industries preferably suitable for rural locations. Paper is a common commodity of modern living and it’s consumption is growing with improved and changing lifestyle. It is one of the most favoured medium for packaging of goods for wholesale delivery and retailing. The packaging is discarded after it has served the purpose and many times disposed off with domestic and other wastes causing land, water and air pollution. Manufacture of Packaging Paper and Board from reclaimed waste papers is an industry which is well suited for developing countries due to high growth potential and other aspects like lower investment, lower operating cost etc. While in some countries a lot of importance has been given to collection and recycling of used paper, the same is not true for many developing countries. Hence, the reasons for this lower rate of recycling and the Socio – economic benefits of producing paper from used packaging have been discussed in this article.