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Bluefield Research

Water for Pulp & Paper: Market Trends and Forecasts, 2023–2030

Water for Pulp & Paper: Market Trends and Forecasts, 2023–2030

From newsprint and tissue paper to packaging material, the highly mature pulp & paper sector is undergoing a transformation. The shift stems from a myriad of factors that have taken place in recent decades, such as the impacts of digital technology (i.e., the Internet) on the demand for office paper & newsprint and online shopping, which is fueling demand for paper-based packaging. These factors—in addition to growing opposition to plastic packaging—are also influencing opportunities for water and wastewater management, globally, across the pulp & paper sector. 

Historically, the sector has been defined by its heavy reliance on water and wastewater treatment—particularly, in the U.S. and China. On average, 5% to 10% of intake water is consumed in the manufacturing process, thereby leaving high volumes of wastewater requiring treatment for reuse or before being discharged into surface bodies (e.g., rivers, streams, lakes).

Given the sector’s maturity and heavy reliance on older facilities, scaling the adoption of advanced water treatment solutions is somewhat limited in the absence of regulatory drivers. Typically, water resource management for industry players includes basic conservation, water reuse, and water recycling.

This report provides a 2023–2030 forecast of capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX). The forecasts account for a range of variables, including pulp & paper trends, inflationary pressures, facility-level usage, and policy incentives.


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