According to a sectoral report presented by AFCO (Spanish Association of manufacturers of corrugated cardboard packaging), corresponding to 2022, the cardboard industry in Spain is in a stable situation. The report highlights that the sector had an annual turnover of 7,618 million euros and a slight increase in employment data compared to the previous year, with more than 24,000 jobs.
Spain produced 5,943 million square meters of cardboard, using some 3.3 million tons of paper in corrugators.
For the fourth consecutive year, Spain ranked as the third biggest cardboard-producing country in Europe, only behind Germany and Italy.
According to the report, the food and agricultural production sectors consume the most cardboard, accounting for 60% of total production. They are followed by the beverage sector with 8.9%, the capital goods and auxiliary goods with 7.1%, and consumer goods, also with 7.1%.
Cardboard packaging is present in all these main sectors thanks to its versatility and reliability. The supply chain continues to trust this material thanks to its quality, strength, protection, and customization.
The cardboard's circularity in figures
The Spanish paper sector invests about 280 million euros in R&D each year to continue offering the market efficient and sustainable solutions, such as corrugated cardboard. The recyclable, renewable, compostable, and biodegradable nature of its raw material, paper, consolidates its value as an optimal alternative for packaging on the path toward a circular economy.
"Ecodesign, sustainability, efficiency, and competitiveness must go hand in hand. This is what we strive for and do with cardboard packaging," stated Leopoldo Santorromán, the president of AFCO.
5.4 million tons of used paper are recycled in Spain per year, which positions it as the EU's second most recycling country, after Germany.
Corrugated cardboard packaging is already a circular solution with an average of 89% recycled content. It is based on a renewable, fully recyclable source. In addition, this kind of packaging is recycled at a scale that makes it economically viable across the EU and makes it a well-functioning system, with a recycling rate above 90%.
"The cardboard sector continues to be an important economic driver in Spain, and its good health is an indication of stability. We must take into account the positive contribution of the paper and cardboard value chain to the economy, circularity, and society," Santorroman concluded.