Used paper shortage creates cardboard crisis

A shortage of used paper in Germany is forcing cardboard prices to skyrocket and having a dramatic affect on the entire packaging industry, a media report said on Tuesday.

Used paper shortage creates cardboard crisis
Photo: DPA

According to recycling and waste management news service Euwid, the price of mixed used paper jumped from €2.50 per tonne last year to €85 per tonne this March, daily Financial Times Deutschland reported. Meanwhile some businesses are paying up to €120 per tonne for used paper that is immediately available.

“It is conceivable that it will come to a supply shortfall,” head of Karl Knauer cardboard product producer Richard Kammerer warned the newspaper.

Other industry professionals said getting their hands on the material they once took for granted is becoming increasingly difficult, and the problem is set to reach companies from online delivery to department store chains and name brand companies.

And while Kammerer said delivery times have gone up by six to reach 12 weeks in some cases, packaging producers already raised their prices by about 10 percent in March, with another increase of between five and 10 percent expected this summer.

According to the newspaper, the sector was simply not prepared for an increase in demand following the financial crisis when cardboard producers cut back on production.

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Danish shipping giant calls for global carbon tax for shipping

Maersk, the world's largest shipping firm, on Wednesday called for a carbon tax on ship fuel to encourage the transition to cleaner alternatives.

Danish shipping giant calls for global carbon tax for shipping
The Maersk Batam container ship is loaded at the Port of Southampton. Photo: Adrian Dennis / AFP

The Danish firm proposed a tax of at least $450 per tonne of fuel, which works out to $150 per tonne of carbon.

Maersk CEO Soren Skou called the tax proposal “a levy to bridge the gap between the fossil fuels consumed by vessels today and greener alternatives that are currently more expensive.”

The call by Maersk for the fuel tax comes ahead of a meeting later this month of the International Maritime Organization, at which the UN body is due to consider how to reduce emissions from the shipping sector.

The sector is responsible for emitting 940 million tonnes of carbon per year, or about 2.5 percent of the global total, according to the European Commission, as most ships continue to use heavy fuel oil, one of the most polluting fuels.

Maersk would be hit by such a fuel tax as it is a major consumer of ship fuel, but the firm believes the IMO is not moving fast enough and wants to see additional measures to shift the industry towards cleaner options.

The firm, which currently has some 700 ships, has announced plans to launch in 2023 its first ship that will use biomethane or renewable natural gas as a fuel.

The company aims to become carbon neutral in 2050.