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Volume 887: debated on Tuesday 4 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry how much paper is used by British industry each year; what proportion is imported; what proportion is home-grown; what proportion is produced from salvaged waste paper; and what proportion could be produced from salvage.

No separate figures are available of the amount of paper used by British industry. Overall consumption of paper and board in 1974 was approximately 8 million tonnes, of which some 47 per cent. was imported, almost all virgin fibre whose replacement from domestic sources is not technically feasible. About 8 per cent. of the woodpulp used in the manufacture of paper and board in the United Kingdom is from indigenous resources and it is estimated that some 46 per cent. of the total fibre used comes from recycled paper. There are technical limitations on the amount of waste paper which can be used, but it is estimated that an increase of 50 per cent. over the 1973 consumption of 2ยท1 million tonnes should be possible by 1980.