Norfolk councils to meet with Palm Paper to discuss future recycling options following EDP investigation

The Quality Check Cabin with line operators sorting out contaminants from the paper at the NEWS recy

The Quality Check Cabin with line operators sorting out contaminants from the paper at the NEWS recycling plant at Costessey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A local solution to Norfolk's waste paper recycling could be on the cards next year - after this newspaper revealed it was being processed in China.

Around 38,000 tonnes of household waste paper is shipped 13,000 miles away to the Far East for recycling, despite similar facilities existing in King's Lynn.

Norse Environmental Waste Services (NEWS), which handles the county's dry, mixed recycling, said this was because the Chinese market pays more.

But Green Party councillors have since questioned how environmentally-friendly Norfolk's recycling scheme really is.

Following our investigation in November, councils are now planning to meet with representatives from the Palm Paper mill in King's Lynn to 'explore possible future options for collaboration'.

A spokesman for Palm Paper said the company was 'keen' to work with the Norfolk Waste Partnership.

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The spokesman said: 'We are a local facility and we would love to accept paper from NEWS, but we need to discuss how both parties can achieve that.'

NEWS' operations director David Newell previously said that waste paper processed at the company's recycling facility in Costessey did not meet Palm Paper's specifications.

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A spokesman for the Norfolk Waste Partnership, which is made up of the county's seven councils, said: 'NEWS is currently producing a high-quality number two newspaper and magazine grade which meets the increasingly demanding quality protocol of the Chinese export route.

'Whilst NEWS is currently in an alternative supply contract, Palm Paper would need to confirm that it is able to receive and process this grade of material before we can have any further, meaningful dialogue with them.

'Notwithstanding the fact the Norfolk's mixed paper and card is destined to be made into packaging material and Palm Paper manufactures newsprint and magazine grades of paper, the councils will be meeting with Palm Paper in 2018 to explore possible future options for collaboration.'

Palm Paper and council representatives are to meet in January 2018.

To find out more about recycling, visit

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