Japan Partnership for Circular Economy

Japan Partnership for Circular Economy


Closed Loop Recycling of Waste Newspaper

[Company / organization] Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.

Project participants and their roles

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. procures waste newspaper as a raw material to produce and sell newsprint. Newspaper companies purchase newsprint from Nippon Paper Industries and publish newspapers, as well as collecting waste newspaper from newspaper printing factories and subscribers’, in order to sell as a raw material to Nippon Paper Industries.

Start date of event

Newsprint companies are regular customers of newsprint from Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. They are working together to promote waste newspaper recycling. The collection of waste newspaper from newspaper subscribers’ started in the Kyushu area in 2007. In recent years the promotion of recycling waste newspaper has expanded, and since April 1, 2020 a new operation has begun in the metropolitan area of Tokyo.

The collecting of waste paper from newspaper printing factories began in 2015, in Miyagi Prefecture. Nippon Paper Industries now operates procurement from factories in other areas to utilize waste newsprint as a raw material.

Details of the initiative

Waste paper is a major raw material for making paper. In particular, waste newspaper is reused not only for producing newsprint, but also as a raw material for printing and business communication paper, white paperboard, and other types of paper. Japanese domestic waste paper market can be affected by the export market. In addition, with concerns about the decrease in the amount of waste paper being generated and the shortage of waste paper collectors, the newspaper companies promote collection of waste newspaper from subscribers’ utilizing the nationwide network of newspaper agencies, as well as procuring waste newsprint from printing factories, in order to recycle for newsprint in the mills of Nippon Paper Industries. These efforts are also expected to help stabilize the waste paper market in Japan.

Achievements and goals of the initiative

Nippon Paper Industries aims to create a new waste paper procurement system, based on the stable circulation of waste paper as a raw material for papermaking, in order to maintain a waste paper recycling system throughout Japan. Nippon Paper Industries also plans to define the roles of participants in the system, to establish distribution routes, and to clarify cost burdens, so that each participant can obtain stable benefits in the long term, since it will lead to the stabilization of the waste paper market.