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Welcome to the CEPI Media Centre – a one-stop shop for up to date information on the policy developments affecting the European paper industry.

Highlights

European Forest Growth 2005-2015

European forests have been growing by over 1,500 football pitches every day! These are other facts by Two Sides here.

 

IMPACT-PapeRec

New Horizon 2020 project on separate collection. Website to be launched soon!

 

Keep Me Posted EU

The campaign about the citizen's right to choose. See more here

 

Paper and Packaging – How Life Unfolds™

A US national-wide campaign on paper: http://www.howlifeunfolds.com/

 

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Position Papers
14 Mar.2016

EU Bioenergy Sustainability Criteria

The sustainable forest management framework has evolved and strengthened over time balancing a market based demand for wood products and bioenergy with the other environmental and climate functions of the forest.


More recently, the EU policy framework to support the use of energy from renewable sources has led to a strong increase of bio-energy use within short timeframes. The increased demand has led to rising imports of wood. To ensure the sustainability of the policy induced increase of bioenergy use and wood imports, the following issues have to be considered:
• Do the needs for wood biomass lead to any of the following critical consequences: resource depletion, land conversion, negative impacts on biodiversity?
• Is the direct burning of wood biomass an efficient use of a raw material that could first be used for higher value purposes?
• How could monitoring, reporting and verification ensure carbon sustainability?

To address the increased use of wood for energy and to design a sustainable biomass policy framework for the post 2020 period, CEPI believes that the following criteria for the production of bioenergy counting towards EU renewable energy targets should be considered while taking into account the use of existing legal and market based instruments at national, EU and global level.

1. Biomass sourcing

Biomass should come from sustainable sources. Biomass is a renewable source of energy if it does not lead to harvesting beyond the sustainable level and preserves the other functions of forests according to the principles of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM).

a. Carbon sustainability:

Forest biomass shall come from countries with credible LULUCF accounting and reporting. If biomass is procured from non-LULUCF accounting countries, credible proof has to be given that there are systems for monitoring, reporting and verification in place ensuring that the harvesting rate in this country is below 100% in the long term and the biomass does not come from land conversion (leading to depletion of carbon stock). Where there is overharvesting at the country level, the energy producer has to give sufficient proof that there is no overharvesting at the relevant regional level of the biomass origin.

Reporting should continue to take place according to the instant oxidation principle. This ensures that the climate effect of the wood use is allocated to the country in which the forest is harvested.

b. Forest management

Forest biomass shall come from legal sources.
In order to ensure that the three main challenges relating to forest management – resource depletion, land conversion and loss of biodiversity – are addressed, the following trend indicators provide sufficient assurance:
1. Growing Stock: The felling rate (harvested volume/net annual increment) must be lower than 1 in the long term (information source: e.g. National Forest Inventories) in order to avoid overharvesting.
2. Gross Deforestation: The area under forest cover must be maintained (except if deforestation is the result of “land sealing” (infrastructue building, urban expansion, etc. which is limited in surface) (information source: e.g. NFI)
3. Biodiversity: No biomass harvesting can take place in protected forests, unless the protection decision allows management and harvesting.
Additional considerations on the proposed approach:
• The measurement of meeting the above indicators must take place within well defined spatial and time dimensions. As far as the spatial dimension is concerned, the country level is relevant. Choosing the appropriate spatial level will allow for robust reporting and monitoring, both in terms of carbon emissions and removals (LULUCF reporting), as well as in terms of forest inventory (fellings areas, etc.)
• A stand level and short-term horizon is not acceptable as it would make compliance with such indicators both impossible and irrelevant. Harvesting lowers the carbon storage in stand level for a certain period, but at the same time at the landscape level, carbon storage continues to be maintained or increased.

Verification:
• The obligation of proof should be solely with the energy producer.
• Demonstrating compliance should be credible, but not too burdensome to the suppliers and the buyers. Red-tape leading to extra cost would be a disincentive to additional mobilisation of forest resources.
• Similar to the EU Timber Regulation an approach of risk assessment (via national/regional (where relevant) data according to the three indicators outlined) should be investigated. Only if the risk assessment at country level can not give thourough proof, the regional/landscape level should be adressed.
• New means of proof should avoid being a further burden when competing with other industries and products based on fossil and more carbon intensive raw materials as well as with forest industries based outside Europe.
• The tools developed by the forest sector should be used to proof the origin from sustainable sources along the chain of custody.
• In that context, different voluntary instruments and tools addressing forest management should be evaluated and recognised.

 

2. Biomass conversion

a. Greenhouse Gas Savings criterion:

There should be GHG savings compared to the average European fossil fuel based generation of electricity and heating and cooling.

• The GHG emissions reduction criteria should be based on the GHG emissions calculations methodology recommended by the Commission in 2010 (COM(2010)11) and confirmed in 2014 (SWD(2014)259).
• There should be coherence with the biofuels GHG emissions threshold (60%) as wood can be used to produce power, heat or biofuels.
• The methodology and default values should be established for at least the same period as the post-2020 RES target.

b. Conversion efficiency:

Heat and electricity based on solid and gaseous biomass should be produced at an overall efficiency of at least 70% (lower for small installations (e.g. < 1 MW) or where CHP cannot be applied). Member States should not support but further even avoid the use of biomass in new conversions of coal plants with the current low efficiencies. Supporting co-firing of biomass in coal plants at low efficiencies is an environmentally harmful subsidy.


Verification:

Meeting the conversion efficiency and GHG savings criteria should be verified by schemes similar to biofuels sustainability criteria. The obligation of verification should be with the energy producer. Mutual recognition of schemes should be ensured to limit red tape.

A background paper accompanying the position can be downloaded here.

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11 Feb.2016

Consultation on the Review of Directive 2012/27/EU on Energy Efficiency

This consultation was launched to collect views and suggestions from different stakeholders and citizens in view of the review of Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency (Energy Efficiency Directive or EED), foreseen for the second half of 2016. The full consultation replies can be found here.

Here are some highlights:

In reviewing the EU energy efficiency target for 2030, the Commission should have in mind that energy efficiency has to be achieved by voluntary initiatives, rather than by mandatory requirements. An EU-wide binding energy saving target until 2030 would limit the scope for economic room to manoeuvre. A rigid objective as a binding cap on energy consumption would impede growth. Therefore, it is of vital importance that the Commission designs the target in such a way that recognises early measures and focuses on lowering the energy intensity, not the energy use as such. The European framework has to create ideal long-term conditions to realize energy efficiency measures covering all sectors. This is particularly important for the non-ETS sectors, where incentives to improve energy efficiency are often insufficient. Effective incentives are needed, especially for research and development as well as for the cost-efficient implementation of investments in energy efficiency measures.

In view of achieving the new EU energy efficiency target for 2030, we believe that energy efficiency work must be done locally and as close to the energy consuming unit as possible. The role of the EU should therefore only be limited to setting targets, creating the overall regulatory framework, monitor the process in terms of energy efficiency improvements and give non-binding advice to those countries that are not able to reach the given goals. But details on how to implement energy efficiency policies need to be formulated at national or even industry level.
The EU should also promote and finance research and innovation in the field of energy and process technology to enable breakthrough technologies.

Regarding the most appropriate financing mechanisms to significantly increase energy efficiency investments in view of the 2030 target, it is important to find a high efficient way of financing. To make sure that the highest possible potential is tapped with the available amount of money, it is important to prefer energy investment funding for measures with high returns on investment. One way would be to support investment in form of cheap call money from a revolving fund for efficiency measures that would otherwise not take place without support. Ensuring that the invested money always returns to the fund (e.g. oney is paid back to the fund in the same rate as the energy savings pay back), allows multiple use of the available budget and therefore enables highest efficiency.
Interest-free loans to finance investments are also a way to achieve energy efficiency measures.
Tax decrease/benefit could also be envisaged if companies are participating in energy efficiency programs and achieving results.
Income from auctioning of emission rights should also be used to finance energy efficiency measures.

 

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11 Feb.2016

CEPI's response to EU Commission's Preparation of a new Renewable Energy Directive for the period after 2020

In its Energy Union Framework Strategy, the Commission announced a new renewable energy package for the period after 2020, to include a new renewable energy directive (REDII) for the period 2020-2030 and an updated EU bioenergy sustainability policy. This consultation covered the REDII aspects. You can find the fully completed consultation here.

Here are some highlights:

CEPI believes that the RED has been successful in deploying large volumes of renewable energy sources. However, the costs directly and indirectly associated to such deployment in most Member States have been quite significant. The energy
prices gap with competing economies has widened, with policy-induced costs being particularly relevant in electricity prices. This has a negative impact on industrial competitiveness, as acknowledged by the 2014 Commission Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020. Weather dependent renewable energy, solar and wind, is remarkable and growing challenge to secure availability of electricity.
The RED has also led to measures promoting the demand for bioenergy, not sufficiently taking into account the availability of wood for the wood processing industry, which is producing substitutes to fossil fuel based and more carbon intensive products. This negative impact on the competitiveness of the wood processing industry is hampering the uptake of the bio-economy and
its climate change mitigation potential. Support to bio-energy should rather focus on stimulating the supply of wood.

Member States have a responsibility to ensure that additional demand for bioenergy is met by supply of raw materials, taking into account local biomass availability. Therefore demand-side measures should be balanced with supply-side measures to mobilise existing additional potential of wood that can otherwise not be used for wood and fibre based products. Reference could be made to the biomass mobilisation brochure jointly developed by DG AGRI, Forest-Europe and the UNECE-FAO.

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04 Dec.2015

Four steps to improve the EU Timber Regulation

Contribution by CEPI to the review of the EU Timber Regulation (995/2010/EC)

Summary
In the ongoing review of the EU Timber Regulation, the European Commission should
• Include printed products in the scope of the regulation
• Strengthen the role of forest certification schemes in the risk assessment
• Coordinate consistent enforcement among Member States
• Align with other world regions with legislation on timber legality

Introduction
Illegal logging has negative effects on the populations depending on forests and the timber and timber products they sell to sustain their livelyhoods. Illegal logging is a driver of climate change and deforestation. Illegal logging also tarnishes the image of companies sourcing timber responsibly. Cheap imports of illegal timber and timber products distort competition at a global level. CEPI has welcomed proportionate measures against the illegal logging and trade of timber and welcomed the EU Timber Regulation introduced in 2010. CEPI believes similar legislation and responsible sourcing requirements should be applied to all raw materials, not only to wood and wood based products.


European paper Industry and timber legality
The European paper industry has a longstanding commitment to sourcing legal and sustainable timber. In 2005, CEPI introduced a Code of Conduct on Legal Logging, which included six principles to follow in wood purchasing to ensure only legal timber is procured. But to go beyond legality and to support sustainable forest management and demonstrate the responsible sourcing of raw materials from them, European Paper Industry has put in place instruments to secure wood is not only sourced from legal origin, but from sustainably managed sources. European Paper industry is strongly involved in third party verified certification. In 2012, 64,6% of wood chips and sawmilling by-products delivered to European mills were forest management certified. 74,7% of pulp delivered to paper and board mills in Europe were forest management certified.


CEPI recommendations for the review of the EU Timber Regulation
The EUTR is applicable since March 2013. In the ongoing review of the EUTR, the European Commission should make use of the experience gained to turn it more effective in combating illegal logging. The EU Timber Regulation should continue addressing timber legality and not be expanded to other forest related issues. However, CEPI has identified the following main issues to be tackled in the review:

1. Extend the scope
The annex of the EUTR contains a list of Timber and Timber products under the scope of the regulation, but does not contain products under chapter 49 of the Combined Nomenclature. This is inconsistent and needs to be addressed. In 2014 the volume of trade in printed products imports into the EU amounted to € 3 billion. CEPI believes that the non-inclusion of printed products can lead to circumvention: There is a risk that illegally logged wood, instead of being traded to the EU in the form of wood, pulp or paper, is traded to countries with less stringent rules on legality before being traded to the EU in the form of printed products. Due to this risk of circumvention, the problem the EUTR is trying to address may remain in the countries of origin, while manufacturing jobs are delocalised from the EU to countries with less stringent rules on timber legality.

  • CEPI urges the Commission to amend the annex of the EUTR and include products under the chapter 49 of the Combined Nomenclature.


2. Clarify and strengthen the role of certification in the due diligence system
Article 6b of the EUTR stipulates that operators may only assess the first of five criteria in the risk assessment part of their due diligence system: assurance of compliance with applicable legislation. CEPI believes that the forest certification schemes offer the appropriate tools to address also the remaining risk assessment criteria of article 6b. These are prevalence of illegal harvesting of specific tree species, prevalence of illegal harvesting or practices in the country of harvest and/or sub-national region where the timber was harvested, sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council or the Council of the European Union on timber imports or exports and the complexity of the supply chain of timber and timber products.

  •  CEPI urges the European Commission to clarify and strengthen the role of forest certification schemes by expanding their applicability to all risk assessment criteria and assess third party certified material as negligible risk.


3. Coordinate consistent enforcement
The level of enforcement is greatly varying between Member States. While essential elements of the regulation such as the level of fines are in the Member States competence, stronger coordination between Member States is needed to avoid the risk of entry points for illegal timber and timber products. Also, Member States interprete provisions of the regulation in their enforcement. This leads to increased administrative burden for companies operating in several EU countries.

  • The European Commission should coordinate more consistent enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation


4. Align internationally
Other world regions have introduced measures to curb the trade in illegally logged timber and timber products such as the US and Australia. While the legislations of these world regions address the same issue, the provisions of legislation are greatly varying. This weakens the international efforts to curb trade in illegal logging.

  • To strengthen the effectiveness of these instruments in the fight against illegal logging internationally, the EU should seek alignment with these trade partners.
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01 Dec.2015

EU ETS: Six steps to ensure industry’s competitiveness

The EU ETS reform, published on 15 July, presents several positive elements that contribute to improving the predictability of the regulatory framework. However, these improvements are not yet sufficient in protecting the competitiveness of energy intensive industries, ensuring adequate regulatory stability and predictability, and in stimulating investments in low-carbon technologies.


From 2005 to 2014, our industry has reduced carbon emissions by 26%, resulting in 21% carbon-intensity reduction. We have been early-movers in low-carbon investments and have plans to grow our business in Europe, building synergies with circular economy and the bioeconomy.
To bring environmental protection in line with industry competitiveness, we ask to:


1. Remove artificial cap on free credits to industry.
Artificially capping access to free credits depresses future investments: it means acceptingdeindustrialisation as a legitimate way to reduce emissions in Europe, even if this wouldincrease Europe’s carbon footprint in the world.
The artificial cap will also lead, sooner or later, to the application of the cross-sectoralcorrection factor (CSCF). This is the most unfair among all instruments, as it cuts allocationirrespective of industry potentials, neutralises carbon leakage provisions, limits predictability,and punishes investments made by early movers.


2. Keep the proposed approach to benchmarks review, but improve key design aspects.
The benchmark review needs to predictably promote and reward investments in low-carbontechnologies, while finding the right balance between accuracy and administrative burden.Reducing benchmarks at achievable paces, with rules clearly stated upfront, will lowerregulatory risks and reward the installations who will invest in low-carbon technologies.


Looking at the administrative burden, the pulp and paper industry, with more than 700installations in the ETS – 60% of which below 25kt – emitted just 31.6 MtCO2 in 2014.Roughly 1.4% of total ETS emissions. Yet, it is the 2nd biggest sector for number ofbenchmarks (11), covering only about 50% of industry production – the rest being under theso-called fall-back approach. It is self-evident that opting for a full review of benchmark valuesinstead is disproportionately costly while only delivering marginal accuracy improvements.


This is why we look favourably at the approach proposed by the Commission. However, manyparameters need to be reviewed and/or clarified, starting with:
•Linearity of the reduction factor;
•Disruptive impact in moving from one reduction pattern to the other;
•Avoid/reduce administrative burden in data collection and verification;
•Fairly assess progresses for installations in fall-back approaches.


3. Grant to all energy-intensive industries equal protection against present and futurerisks of carbon leakage.
Industry is either exposed to global competition or not: there is no middle ground. In thiscontext, the Commission proposal seems reasonable. Moreover, it is worth noticing that therest of the world does not impose comparable costs on energy intensive industries, withcarbon leakage provisions appearing also in other non-EU countries.


4. Adopt binding EU rules for compensation of indirect carbon costs.
Indirect carbon costs affect industrial international competitiveness as much as direct carboncosts do. The principle of equal treatment in shielding industry from both carbon costs musteffectively and consistently apply in all Member States.


5. Stop penalising investments in industrial Combined Heat and Power (CHP).
In the pulp and paper industry CHP is considered as Best Available Technique. Installations are therefore expected to use this technology. Today however the EU ETS does not send the right investment signal to invest in industrial CHP: the EU ETS grants no free credits for electricity produced and no consistent and adequate compensation for indirect carbon costs is given across Europe either. Given the relevant co-benefits CHP delivers in moving Europe towards a low-carbon economy, corrective measures to provide the right investment signal are urgently needed.


6. Earmark innovation and modernisation funding to energy intensive industries.
The earmarked 450 million allowances is the largest industry innovation fund ever. To deliverits full potential it should be linked to the goal of 2050 sectoral roadmaps, and aimed at thedeployment of new technologies for each Annex I sectors. The modernisation fund should alsoprimarily support low-carbon technologies in industry.


For more information, please contact Nicola Rega, Climate Change and Energy Director, at n.rega@cepi.org, mobile: +32 485 403 412
 

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23 Sep.2015

Position of the paper and print value chain on the EU General Data Protection review

Our associations are part of the paper and print value chain and include paper manufacturing, paper converting, printing, postal services and direct marketing. We are all committed to safeguarding the protection of personal data.


Our industry – which ranges from the manufacturer to the distributor of direct mail – provides jobs to 3 million Europeans active in more than 120 000 companies and generates a turnover of over € 340 billion.


The review of the existing framework aims primarily at adapting the rules to the growing development of technology. It is essential that the new rules allow for the more ‘traditional’’ side of the communication industry - i.e. postal direct mail – to keep its ability to process personal data.


Some of the proposals in the General Data Protection Regulation would considerably restrict direct marketing opportunities of industry and thereby have a serious impact on the ability for Europe to communicate while jeopardizing the existence of many of our companies in Europe.


In this decisive phase of the legislative procedure on the review of the European Data Protection legislation, we would like to highlight our key concerns and count on the negotiations to lead to a workable legislative framework, which:


Recognises the use of personal data in direct marketing as being carried out for a legitimate interest (Recital 39 as proposed by the Council)
Recognises the legitimate interest as legal basis for the further processing of data (Article 6.4)
Avoids excessive requirements on profiling (Article 20)
Acknowledges the legitimate interest of third parties and maintain the existing balance (Article 6.1.f)
Avoids the mandatory use of ambiguous graphical forms (Article 13.2.a as proposed by the European Parliament)
Avoids disproportionate administrative burden for SMEs


We trust the trilogue negotiations will lead to a balanced solution combining citizen’s fundamental rights to data protection with standard business activities.


Contact:
CEPI – Confederation of European Paper Industries – www.cepi.org
FEDMA – Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing – www.fedma.org
FEPE – European Envelope Manufacturers Association – www.fepe.org
INTERGRAF – European Federation of Print and Digital Communication – www.intergraf.eu
POSTEUROP – European Postal Operators – www.posteurop.org

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17 Aug.2015

CEPI's response to public consultation on the Circular Economy

CEPI replied to the European Commission's public consultation on the circular economy in July. 

Background (from the Commission website): In December 2014, the Commission announced the withdrawal of its legislative proposal for the review of waste legislation, to be replaced by a new, more ambitious, initiative for the promotion of the circular economy by the end of 2015.
This initiative aims at promoting the transition to the circular economy through a comprehensive, coherent approach that fully reflects interactions and interdependence along the whole value chain, rather than focusing exclusively on one part of the economic cycle. It will comprise a revised legislative proposal on waste and a Communication setting out an action plan on the circular economy for the rest of this Commission’s term of office. The action plan will cover the whole value chain, and focus on concrete measures with clear EU added value, aiming at ‘closing the loop’ of the circular economy. The circular economy initiative will also contribute to wider EU objectives such as the Energy Union, the climate objectives and resource efficiency.
 

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03 Aug.2015

CEPI's response to public consultation as part of the Fitness Check of the EU nature legislation (Birds and Habitats Directives)

The purpose of the consultation was to gather opinions on current EU nature conservation legislation (the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive) and its implementation to date, as part of the 'fitness check' that the European Commission is carrying out under its Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT).

Here's a short summary of how CEPI thinks the European nature conservation strategy should can improve:

  • Combine management and conservation: The voluntary work on SFM (e.g. through PEFC and FSC certification) should be recognized, however, protection measures under certification schemes should not lead to permanent conservation status.
  • Focus on the maintenance of valuable habitats in a dynamic model taking into account natural processes
  • It should be possible to adapt annexes in case of changed conservation needs
  • Owners should be able to request the reversal of a conservation area once this area does no longer serve the initial conservation objective
  • Leave the organisational implementation to the Member States
  • Take a cooperative approach respecting economic interests of forest owners and operators

 

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19 Mar.2015

Consultation response on the revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) Directive

Background: On 24 October 2014, the European Council agreed on the 2030 framework for climate and energy, including a binding domestic target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of at least 40% in 2030 as compared to 1990. To meet this target, the European Council agreed that the emissions in the EU Emission Trading System should be reduced, compared to 2005, by 43%. A reformed EU ETS remains the main instrument to achieve the emission reduction target. The cap will decline based on an annual linear reduction factor of 2.2% (instead of the current 1.74%) from 2021 onwards, to achieve the necessary emission reductions in the EU ETS. The European Council furthermore gave strategic guidance on several issues regarding the implementation of the emission reduction target, namely free allocation to industry, the establishment of a modernisation and an innovation fund, optional free allocation of allowances to modernise electricity generation in some Member States.

The strategic guidance given by European leaders on these elements will be translated into a legislative proposal to revise the EU ETS for the period post-2020. This constitutes an important part of the work on the achievement of a resilient Energy Union with a forward looking climate change policy, which has been identified as a key policy area in President Juncker's political guidelines for the new Commission.

The purpose of this stakeholder consultation was to gather stakeholders' views on these elements.

CEPI's Key messages :

- The ETS in general, and the benchmarks in particular, should reward installations and sectors reducing GHG emissions, without penalising early movers, new investment made, and low-carbon economic growth. Fiscal and legislative stability and predictability are needed to enable investments in low-carbon technologies.
- The pulp and paper industry cannot pass through carbon costs to its customers: the global market of export goods sets prices, not the production costs of the European industry. This can be easily verified by the lack of correlation between carbon prices and final product prices.
- For “direct carbon costs”, free allocation is a necessary condition but not sufficient to avoid carbon leakage: support mechanisms should be set up to help the EU industry improve its energy efficiency and reduce its GHG emissions.
- Concerning “indirect carbon costs”, it would be better for a mandatory and harmonised EU-wide compensation scheme to address the impact of rising electricity costs due to ETS in all Member States. Financing of compensation schemes should include also, but not be limited to, auctioning revenues from ETS.
- Support for innovation in industry should not come at the expenses of carbon leakage protection: funding for innovation will have to come on top of free allowances for industry. It should be directed to directly finance large-scale demo and pilot projects, as well projects close to commercialisation stage (TRL 6-8). These are high risk, high capital investments where the private sector would not be able to deliver without the backing of public financing.
- The role that European industry plays in the circular economy and in the bioeconomy is of strategic importance for Europe’s access to raw materials and reducing Europe’s carbon footprint. This should be acknowledged when reviewing the EU ETS, by addressing the ETS impact on prices and availability of raw material, such as wood.
 

Read the full reponse.

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28 Nov.2014

CEPI welcomes Commission intentions for meaningful recycling in Europe and identifies enabling measures for meeting ambitious targets

UPDATE: The Commission has recently announced the withdrawal of the waste targets review and will publish a new proposal in the course of 2015.

Comments by CEPI on the European Commission proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Directives 2008/98/EC on waste, 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste, 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles, 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, and 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment /* COM/2014/0397 final - 2014/0201 (COD)

Summary

• Recycling Targets must be ambitious but realistic to increase collection in an environment where some Member States have already reached high recycling rates. Member States should set their target for paper packaging recycling at a minimum of 80% by 2020.
• Packaging Recycling targets in Europe should not discriminate between the different consumer packaging materials
• The proposed methodology to calculate recycling rates can favour high quality recycling but it should refer to material specific standards or similar quality assurances. For paper, the input method should continue to apply under strict input quality criteria, including for exports
• Incineration restrictions and separate paper collection obligations are needed as complementary measures to ensure recyclable paper diverted from landfills gets actually recycled.
• Final recycling must be clearly defined to ensure targets are meaningful and can be compared between Member States.

Recycling Targets: Minimum targets for Paper Packaging Recycling Rates should be set at 80% by 2020 in all Member States


European Paper Industry is a world champion in recycling, but reaching new targets will be increasingly challenging as several Member States have already reached recycling rates close to the theoretical potential of paper recycling. The average European Paper Recycling rate was 71,7% in 2013 and the sector has set a target of 70% recycling rate by 2015. The recycling rate has increased significantly from levels around 40% in 1990 and 62% in 2005, but has started levelling up since the last five years. As we reach the absolute potentials of paper recycling in some Member States, setting ambitious targets in all Member States is crucial to further stipulate recycling in less than average performing countries. Too ambitious average targets alone will however not be sufficient to reach the objectives set out in the circular economy communication. Further improvement of the paper and board packaging recycling rate will largely depend on progress in less than average performing countries. CEPI therefore proposes that all Member States set their target for paper packaging recycling at a minimum of 80% by 2020. Concrete targets for 2025 and 2030 should be set once the performance based on the proposed methodology and progress towards 2020 targets is assessed, e.g. through the newly proposed early warning system.
Recycling targets in Europe should not discriminate between consumer packaging materials and one material should not compensate for others in a Member State’s calculation of all packaging waste prepared for re-use and recycled. Recyclability and the recycling performance have increasingly become key aspects in the competition between consumer packaging materials.


Calculation Methodology : for paper, the input method should continue to apply under strict input quality criteria
CEPI welcomes the Commission’s intention to set the focus on high quality recycling. The recycling process can only deliver efficiently produced high quality recycled products if the input to this final recycling process fulfills strict quality requirements, too. The Commission proposal rightly distinguishes between final recycling processes with « clean » input material, for which the input method would continue to be applied, and final recycling processes with lesser quality material, for which the output method would have to be applied. CEPI understands the proposed discarded materials as non-target material that is not part of the original product and can be separated in dry sorting.
In the production of recycled paper, the input material for the recycling process is covered by a European Standard (EN 643). This standard sets limits on the share of non-paper components generally not exceeding 1,5%. CEPI is therefore of the opinion that for paper, the input method should continue to apply. However, the Commission proposal leaves too much room for interpretation and should refer to European Standards or similar quality assurances.
Paper for Recycling exported outside the European Union should count towards the recycling rate provided it meets the EN 643 standard and is effectively recycled outside Europe at broadly equivalent environmental conditions as in the EU. This should be demonstrated by a certification scheme as it is being considered by the European Commission and which would include in its scope the reprocessing site in the destination country and ensure traceability through adequate documentation.
Furthermore, it is of great importance that the denominator for the calculation of the recycling rates is identical in all Member States to allow for comparison.

Complementary measures to reach recycling targets
To reach high recycling targets based on the proposed new methodology, complementary measures next to the introduction of a landfill ban are however essential:


Incineration restrictions
CEPI welcomes the introduction of a landfill ban for recyclable waste. However, CEPI thinks that formulating a landfill ban for recyclable material and high recycling targets is not sufficient to reach the objectives. CEPI therefore thinks it is needed to formulate incineration restrictions for recyclable material from the municipal waste stream. This is to avoid waste is only shifted one step up in the waste hierarchy. In the past, several Member States have set the focus on diversion from landfill. This has partly led to low quality collection systems, which would not be able to deliver the input quality to recycling processes according to the new methodology as suggested bythe Commission proposal.

Obligation to collect paper separately from other recyclables and residual waste
To ensure reaching the required quality input for paper recycling processes, paper should be collected separately from other recyclables such as plastics, metal and glass, and from residual waste. The Waste Directive of 2008 has formulated a separate collection target in 2008, however Member States have interpreted this requirement in different ways. CEPI therefore urges the Commission to reinforce the requirement on separate collection for paper. Separate collection is crucial to achieve the landfill restrictions proposed by the commission.


Current recycling definition is too vague
The current definition of recycling is too vague, as it includes next to “reprocessing” also “any other recovery operations”. This leads to a wide range of interpretations, including on the recycling rate, between countries and materials. The only way to ensure material that has been discarded is effectively back in the circular economy is to make sure it is not recognized recycled unless it is reprocessed in a production process into new products, materials or substances that have comparable properties to the corresponding virgin raw materials. The proposed methodology for high quality recycling cannot be reached without a precise recycling definition. Article 3 (17) of directive 2008/98/EC should be amended as follows :


• ‘recycling’ means any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes. It includes the reprocessing of organic material but does not include energy recovery and the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling operations; ‘final recycling’ means reprocessing in a production process of waste or materials reclaimed from waste into products, materials or substances with similar properties as the equivalent virgin raw material based product, material or substance. It excludes pre-processing.


Next to these measures, CEPI has the following comments on the Commission proposal:
Extended Producer Responsibility : CEPI believes that the proposed provisions of Annex VII paragraph 6.1 and 6.4 place disproportionate financial burden on producers and cover aspects beyond the producers’ control. Putting the burden of « financial contributions to cover the entire cost of waste management… » would act as a disincentive for other actors with roles and responsibilities in the waste collection and sorting chain to focus on cost efficiency. Consequently the competitiveness of European economy would be harmed. CEPI believes that extended producer responsibility should not allow overlapping and duplicating payments: fees should only apply in absence of action when responsibility is delegated to compliance schemes, and fees should be charged on the basis of true cost after the deduction of all fees and revenues related to the waste generated. CEPI also believes Annex VII concerning minimum requirements for EPR should not be amended through the adoption of delegated acts since they are an essential part of the legislation.
Renewability : CEPI is concerned that the Commission published a proposal on the circular economy without mentioning renewability. CEPI believes that the contribution of renewable materials and products to the circular economy should be acknowledged, e.g. by adding renewability to the packaging eco-design options for Member States consideration. CEPI believes that such a non-binding list of ecodesign options is preferred over national packaging design requirements as proposed by the Commission as the latter would undermine the single market by producing barriers to trade.
Definition of Municipal Waste : The definition of municipal waste should not include material from the retail sector. The collection of waste from the retail sector is already well organised. Including the retail sector would divert the focus from the challenge of improving the waste collection from households and small shops.


For more information, please contact Ulrich Leberle at u.leberle@cepi.org, mobile +32 479 905 921

 

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