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18-01-2021 | Issue 5/2021

Environmental Management 5/2021

The Impact of Waste Paper Recycling on the Carbon Emissions from China’s Paper Industry

Journal:
Environmental Management > Issue 5/2021
Authors:
Di Shang, Gang Diao, Chang Liu, Lucun Yu
Important notes

Supplementary information

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00267-020-01417-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

As China’s demand for paper products increases, China’s paper industry faces enormous pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By using material flow analysis in combination with input–output analysis, this study measured the waste paper recovery rate in a more accurate method and analyzed the impact of waste paper recycling on the carbon emissions from China’s paper industry. China’s waste paper recovery rate estimated in this study was close to 70% in 2017, much higher than that of 48% obtained with the traditional method. The regression results displayed a negative relationship between waste paper recovery rate and CO2 emissions per unit of paper consumption during 2000–2017 in China. The rolling regression results further indicated that the impact of waste paper recycling was becoming stronger on reducing CO2 emissions per unit of paper consumption in China. Since an inverted “U” shape relationship exists between waste paper recovery rate and its reduction effect on carbon emissions from the paper industry, the regression results suggested that China’s waste paper recovery rate has not reached the optimal level with regard to carbon emissions from China’s paper industry. Thus, although China’s waste paper recovery rate has reached a relatively high level, currently waste paper recycling is still an effective method to reduce carbon emissions from China’s paper industry.

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