While the entire economic environment of waste management and recycling has been dominated for years by consolidation, acquisitions and the entry of large corporations, the recovered paper market in Germany has so far remained dominated by medium-sized companies. The industry has developed over decades and has been able to successfully dovetail with global markets – not the least thanks to digital platforms such as recyfy.

To remain successful, however, effective strategies for the future are also needed outside the distribution channels. Many factors play a role in this: not only are collection and recycling rates stagnating or falling, but input qualities are also deteriorating. These developments also occupied the industry at this year’s recovered paper day of the bvse.

Threatening export restrictions, for example, had the potential to create national dependencies and hinder competition, warned Henry Forster, managing director of the Ihlenberger waste disposal company, at the conference. He added that there were further problems: “In the past, the waste paper collector was still the owner and trader of the waste paper and had a decisive influence on the quality of the collection, but today the attempt is being made to reduce his function more and more to that of a logistics provider through tenders,” said Forster.

The waste paper market, which is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises, is also threatened by both large disposal companies and municipalities. Partnership-based, strategic cooperation is the best way to remain efficient and fit for the future. Especially in the regional area, Forster sees potential in finding new ways to use synergy effects while preserving the quality of the recovered paper.