The Sector / Description

 

In 2016, total Spanish output was 7,9 million tons, split as 1,7 million tons of pulp and 6,2 million tons of paper and cardboard, from 10 pulp mills and 71 paper and paperboard plants. Spain is the sixth paper and pulp producer in the EU.

The industry directly employs 16,200 people, although indirectly the sector has working relationships with over 80,000 people. Turnover in 2016 was 4,240 million euros.

There are many types of paper used in each case for specific applications - books, newspapers, healthcare and personal hygiene, boxes, packaging, bags, sacks, etc.

Two types of raw material are involved in the manufacture of paper and board: virgin pulp and recycled fibre obtained from used paper.

Virgin pulp is primarily used to produce printing and writing papers, toilet and healthcare papers and certain specialty papers. By contrast, recycled fibre is the key ingredient in the production of newsprint and paper for packaging.

Important features of the Spanish industry worthy of highlight include:

• The production of bleached hardwood pulp using eucalyptus, a fast growing species that is especially apt for the favourable weather conditions in the Iberian Peninsula, and
• The high recovered paper Use Rate of 84%: Spain is the second largest recycler in Europe, behind Germany and tied with France.

The regions of Aragon, Catalonia, Basque Country, Navarra, Castile and Leon and Valencia are the areas with the most paper mills. Around eighty mills are distributed throughout the entire country.

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