Business | General

UAE paper use among highest in the world

A4 is the most popular size and consumption is growing 5%-6% per year

  • Staff Report
  • Published: 00:00 September 19, 2011
  • Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE's paper consumption is one of the highest in the world, clocking annual growth of 5-6 per cent, according to international industry statistics released yesterday on the sidelines of the opening of the Paper Arabia 2011 exhibition in Dubai.

The per capita annual consumption of paper in the UAE is 200kg — on a par with Italy and Spain — against the global average consumption of 60 kg, according to the Indonesian Pulp and Paper Association.

The association's findings also reveal the significance of the figure considering the UAE's small population and when contrasted with a country like India where the per capita consumption is a mere 9kg.

In 2010 the UAE consumed 2.9 million tonnes of paper against 16.3 million tonnes in the Middle East region and 408.2 million tonnes globally, according to the Indonesian association.

Meanwhile, the show's organisers said that A4 was the most popular paper size in the UAE, and that the overall growth in consumption was between 5 and 6 per cent. Twelve paper mills operate in the country.

Commenting on the paper industry, Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the UAE paper industry is still evolving and it serves the entire region as well as Africa.

Suresh Kilam, vice-chairman of the Indonesian Pulp and Paper Association, said: "The Chinese paper and pulp industry will reach 168 million tons [152.4 million tonnes] in 2020, 22 million of which will be exported outside Chinese markets, with the Middle East getting the bulk of these exports in the absence of anti-dumping policies. Chinese production was 92 tons [83.5 tonnes] in 2010 compared with 32 tons [29 tonnes] in 2001."

Both the North American and western European paper markets are shrinking 1.8 per cent yearly.

Comments (10)

  1. Added 14:44 September 19, 2011

    I work in an advertising company which makes it a heavy user of paper. I have had success here urging my colleagues to recycle. I am grateful they listen to me and we started by assigning one box for placing unwanted printouts and using them in the future. My table is piled with used papers I use for sketching and create drafts for ads and related topics. We save money and resources by doing this, I hope others will do the same.

    Gilson P, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 13:32 September 19, 2011

    schools wste a lot of paer by filing unnecessary documents. although some modern school have changed this by doing everything online. some old fashioned schools still keep hard opies of records, study material, etc tough all these can be stored in an electronic file thusreducing waste amount of paper, after each academic yer tons of paper are discarded to replace with new ones

    sheen, dub, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 13:02 September 19, 2011

    The bulk paper misuse is happening within construction industry, mainly between the contractors and consultants. From my experience, an average sized tower project wastes almost 4 tonnes of fresh paper for so-called documentation. Many of the Consultants aggressively ask for 5-6-7 copies of each document in ORIGINAL for processing. As an example, when a contractor makes a technical proposal for ordinary cement an average of 30 A4 sheets are used per copy and multiply by 5-6-7. The so - called consultants discover some discrepancy and return the proposal for re-submission and this cycle goes on, basically because the many consultants are not decision makers, but mere text readers. The worse happens on the drawings. Well, add to that the amount of ink wasted, which is again not necessarily to be very environment friendly.

    Ebrahim, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:53 September 19, 2011

    I have been diligently using both sides of an a4 paper to make necessary ID copies for my work transaction and putting all paper waste in the recycling bin. I have tried to make my office mates do the same but they are not as enthusiastic as they don't see it neccessary what with the abundance of a4 paper in the office. I hope for the authorities to raise awareness regarding resource consumption.

    cheryl, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 12:22 September 19, 2011

    Thats not good at all. In my office too so many people they are wasting paper every day. they dont want to check before thay print for each letter, they are printing twice or more than that. Kindly note that "It takes 10 litres of water to produce 1 sheet of A4 paper, think before you print"

    Faraz, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:34 September 19, 2011

    Very true and could not be more correct. There is still a lot of dependence in the UAE to use hard copies and electronic copies are used very rarely. It would be great initiative by the Governments to start implementing e-processing of all official documentation. This can then start to filter down to other companies. I have always felt there is unnecessary use of paper and prints, particularly at public offices. Not only this is a burden on our environment but with increased use of paper, comes increased cost of stationary and related printing equipmen costs. Companies would easily be able to cut these "stationary" expenses and this cost saving is a direct injection to your net profitability.

    Fahad Jahanigr, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 11:10 September 19, 2011

    And why not? In my small organisation of just seven people, we have four severe abusers. Trying to convince them that there is no need to use fresh A4 size paper and that unless necessary one can use one-side paper which is available in plenty, is like talking to a blank wall. Over the years, I have forwarded them news clips on environmental awareness and even informed them that one tree on an average gives us around 80,000 sheets of A4. Only. It has so far been of little use only, with one person becoming a convert. The others continue to blatantly violate all norms. And considering that I sit beside the printer, I should know. Besides taking printouts for every rhyme and reason, they tear them after use instead of setting it aside for others to use. So unless really stringent rules are put in place i think this attitude will continue.

    Vyjayanthimala Jacobs, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 11:05 September 19, 2011

    I myself always concerned about this when I see the waste of cleaning tissues at home, offices and washrooms. It's very popular to see people taking 2 or 3 or more tissues just to dry their hands or clean their glass, the more to say... I believe a campaign is needed by Environment protection org.'s here to make people aware of this wastage of materials. I myself tried to personally give notice few times but the reaction of people was not pleasant !

    Fareed, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:45 September 19, 2011

    Recently, I was at one of the Jebel Ali freezone entry Gates for about an hour and a half waiting for my invitation request - I was surprised to begin with, and then later amazed looking at the amount of printouts and faxes that kept pouring in. I am assuming they must be printing out hundreds per hour and that's just one gate. Just made me wonder why an electronic system is not implemented so far at these gates. We can save so much of paper and reduce environment impact caused by such enormous usage. In long term, the cost of deploying an electronic system might actually be cheaper than buying so much of paper, printing devices and ink cartridges.

    latif shaikh, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 10:30 September 19, 2011

    The reason behind this is the lack of awareness and facilities to recycle the paper in UAE. Unfortunately, paper is not a resellable material in UAE.

    Rajesh, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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