Paper Recovery Increases Whilst Paper Consumption Decreases
Australian Statistics have been showing for some time that on-line advertising and e-readers are seriously affecting paper consumption. This will continue to do so as the younger generation advocate and evolve such technology, and as the older generation become more comfortable with the convenience and data access of hand held devices.
Government and large businesses have traditionally been the leading consumer segment of stationery and communication paper. They traditionally used and stored masses of paper in archives, which still occurs to an extent, but now they also store digitally on computers in climate controlled vaults with a comparatively small volumes of paper documentation. Consequently  this market segment has now fallen behind SME`s consumption levels (70.5%), which tells us that in proportion less fibre is coming out of the critical mass segment with SME`s and SOHO ( 2.7 million small businesses ) now being the target market. SME’s however are also the most expensive to collect from. A good example of this shift is The National Bank no longer requiring A4 cardboard paper cartons for paper recycling. 240 litre MGB yields are down to thirty kilos from the large sources of supply, consequently government, banks and large businesses are becoming a more expensive low yielding source of revenue.
Sales of A4 Copy paper are holding up which is the good news for the document destruction industry at 234,400 tonnes, only down 16,200 tonnes ( 0.06% ) from the peak consumption in 2007.
Looking into paper consumption and the Australian economy structure, service industries employ 85.1% of the workforce or 8,492,000 employees, and manufacturing employ 6.1%. It is still worth looking at national employment by business size:
  • large 200+ employees (29.5%).
  • Medium 200-19 employees (23.3%).
  • Small 5-19 employees (47.2%), being many accountants, medical and legal.
  • Micro 1-4 employees  (24.2%), single operators or non-employing 60%. The latter is massive segment and is why most confidential home documents are going unsecured into kerbside recycling which is unlikely to change without greater awareness and education about paper recovery.
The service sector when analysed further shows that the number of construction businesses is the largest industry segment, followed by professional scientific, technical services, real estate then financial services, followed by transport, postal and warehousing then the retail trade. Individually small consumers of paper, but collectively obviously high.
For an interesting read go to Australian Government key statistics to read the research further for opportunities.