Prague, Nov 2 (CTK) – Czechs collect around 68 percent of used paper for recycling compared with 43 percent 15 years ago, while the maximum possible level is put at 78 percent, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) wrote yesterday.

It writes that roughly one fifth of waste paper cannot be collected because it is either toilette and cigarette paper, or the waste cannot be recycled and must be burnt or it is dumped. This applies, for instance, to soiled paper and greaseproof paper, MfD writes.

It writes that used paper is collected in sorting containers that are administered by municipalities, at salvage points, in retail chains and printing works, and also in schools where children bring it. The school collection system is connected with competition.

The paper from schools is most popular with paper dealers, who say it is best sorted. “It is a Czech specificity. It accounts for some 10 to 15 percent of overall paper collection. During the (two-month) summer holiday, the offer of old paper decreases,” Jaroslav Tymich, head of the largest Czech paper dealer, Euro Waste, told MfD.

The Czech system of paper collection and recycling is one of the best in Europe. A total of 900,000 tonnes of paper are collected in the country annually, 200 tonnes of which are processed in domestic paper works, the number of which has, however, largely decreased since the fall of the communist regime in 1989, MfD writes.

The prices of used paper range from 1000 crowns per tonne for unsorted mixed paper to several thousand for old papers and magazines, MfD writes.

The dealers negotiate about the price with the respective paper mill every month and they also differ according to the distance over which the paper is transported to the mill, Tymich said.

The waste paper price mainly depends on the situation in Germany, which is the biggest European market. It, for its part, depends on the situation in China, MfD writes.

“China does not abound in forests, which is why waste paper is its main raw material for production. Since it does not have enough of it, it must import it from all over the world,” Tymich said.

He said it does not pay Czech dealers to export paper to China because of the high transport costs involved.

The biggest Czech paper mill has its seat in Steti, north Bohemia. It is owned by the South African company Mondi. Previously, it made newspaper, now it produces sack paper, wrapping paper and cardboard, MfD writes.