In many respects, the paper and packaging sector is more advanced than most in terms of its waste management. To some extent, this is because the materials involved are, often, less toxic or hazardous than those of other industries. Also, the sector has been under close scrutiny by the public for several decades, simply because packaging waste streams pass through the hands of the general public at some stage.
Mostly, the industry’s good track record is a result of its having accepted the waste management challenges confronting it and being innovative in finding solutions.
There are, nonetheless, some major obstacles still to be addressed within the industry. These are related to legislation required to enforce waste management standards across the sector and also to involve the public to a much greater extent in recycling and recovery processes.
For instance, better sorting methods at collection points, particularly households, would reduce waste management costs by providing a higher level of uncontaminated waste for the recycling industry.