Invest in paper and cardboard

Last updated: 1 December 2022

The majority of recovered paper and cardboard in Victoria comes from the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector. Paper and cardboard collected directly from businesses is largely separated at the source into a single, clean stream making it easier to process and making it a more valuable material.

Municipal sector paper and cardboard (from households and council operations) currently has a lower recovery rate due to being collected in a mixed recycling bin. This leads to greater contamination rates. However, the introduction of Victoria’s new 4-bin waste and recycling system will reduce contamination in the mixed recycling bin enabling greater recovery of cleaner paper and cardboard.

Read about Victoria’s new 4-bin waste and recycling system

The increase in supply

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) export ban for mixed and unsorted paper and cardboard will come into effect from July 2024. This is expected to cause:

  • significant capacity shortfalls
  • a need for an increase in reprocessing infrastructure and investment in large-scale paper sorting and pulping facilities.

Read about the COAG export ban.


  • Additional paper sorting and pulping infrastructure is required in Victoria from 2024.
  • Improved mechanical sorting of mixed paper and cardboard at Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) to recover different paper grades, enhancing access to paper reprocessing markets.
  • Additional capacity and capability are required for secondary infrastructure to manufacture fibre products such as recycled paper food packaging like food trays, paper towels and tissues.
  • Reduced contamination rates due to the introduction of Victoria’s new 4-bin waste and recycling system.

Stay up to the date

For the latest investment opportunities and material commodity prices, read our regular Recovered Resources Market Bulletin

To stay up to date with the latest grants and funding opportunities, register for our grants and funding alert

Graphs and data

Paper and cardboard waste generation sector breakdown
Waste generation by tonnes (2018-19)
View full-screen
Paper and cardboard waste Tonnes
Commercial and Industrial 1438573
Construction and Demolition 8131
Municipal 334233

For more information on waste data, view our waste data, insights and tools.

For help with investment solutions

Get in touch with:
Investment Facilitation Services

Related pages