Kishu Paper Co. has admitted it falsified the ratio of used paper in a wide range of recycled paper products, making it likely that the scandal will expand to encompass other medium-size papermakers.
Oji Paper Co., the largest papermaker, and four other major players admitted Friday to lying about the amount of used paper in their products, bringing to six the number of big companies that have admitted to the practice of over-hyping their recycling efforts.
The scandal erupted after Nippon Paper Group Inc., the country’s second-largest papermaker, admitted Wednesday that it had falsified the ratio following accusations earlier this month from Japan Post Holdings Co. that papermakers had exaggerated the amount of used paper in its New Year’s greeting cards marked as “recycled paper.”
Kishu Paper’s admission, which came late Saturday, could lead other medium-size papermakers to admit to falsifications, which analysts say is a widespread practice in the industry due to the fierce competition to produce better quality recycled products.
Kishu Paper said it has used lower than claimed ratios of used paper in printer, copier and other paper products made at its plant in Mie Prefecture, and is now investigating the amounts produced and when the practice began.