On a global view, paper and board consist of nearly 90% of natural fibrous materials:
Virgin Fibers from chemical and mechanical pulps contribute 54% to the total fibrous raw material; recycled fibers with 46%.
Recovered Paper gain in importance furthermore (2006 figures)
The annual global production of virgin pulps for the manufacturing of paper and board currently amounts to about 190 million tons, including semichemical pulp and mechanical pulp. Almost 80 % of virgin pulps are chemical pulp. Most of the chemical pulps are wood-based, using mainly spruce, pine, beech, birch, aspen and eucalyptus. These pulps are produced mainly by the sulfate (kraft) process, but a relatively small quantity is also manufactured by the sulfite process. Approximately 10% of virgin pulps are based on non-wood sources (e.g. rice straw, bagasse, bamboo) – especially in Asian countries – mainly using the soda process.
The paper industry is world-wide the exclusive relevant user of recovered paper as a secondary raw material - at least in terms of material recycling. Various recovered paper processing systems with mechanical and chemical unit processes prepare recycled fibers, for the production of paper and board grades.
The portion of recycled fibers in the raw material furnish can vary from approx. 5% for fine paper to 100% for newsprint and packaging paper.
Traditionally, packaging papers and board have the highest recovered paper utilization rate.
At second place of the utilization rates come household and hygiene papers, but this requires the use of sorted recovered paper grades (mainly graphic papers) and a separate, very special stock preparation process to take off the printing ink (so called deinking process).
Finally comes the utilization rate for graphic papers, where are big differences due to the wide spectrum of such paper grades, e.g. newsprint paper has already reached the highest level, followed by magazine papers and coating base papers. Many newsprint papers are already based on 100% recovered papers. But again, the use of recovered papers for graphic papers requires the use of sorted printing papers and have to be deinked, too.