Confederation of European Paper Industries
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About Topics

A broad range of topics affect the European pulp and paper industry, for example energy, forestry, recycling, food contact, and trade. These issues are subject to European policies, which can directly impact the industry’s competitiveness and sustainability. Many of these issues are interconnected, and this is reflected in the integrated approach that CEPI takes in addressing them.

This section provides you with information on all of the key topics currently impacting our industry. Click on the menu above or in the list below for the latest information for each topic.


Paper and Packaging – How Life Unfolds™

A US national-wide campaign on paper:


Fresh or Re-cycled Fiber? Is one or the other more sustainable?

New report by the Forest Solutions Group of the WBCSD


European Paper Recycling Awards 2015

Read the results on the ERPC website.


Who is who at CEPI

Detailed overview of the policy topics CEPI works on and the corresponding Directors/Managers who deal with them.


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The circular economy and the pulp and paper industry

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19 Nov.2015

The Age of Fibre - The pulp and paper industry's most innovative products

The industry has declared the start of The Age of Fibre with a brand new publication containing the most innovative products of the pulp and paper industry. This new publication is the third in the sequence of initiatives that started with the 2050 Roadmap in 2011, followed by the Two Team Project in 2013. All products featured in the new publication were shipped to Brussels for an exhibition that ran throughout the European Paper Week 2015.

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19 Nov.2015 ,

Paper Industry 4.0 - What digital can do for the paper industry

CEPI in cooperation with StepChange and SITRA have launched a brochure on the state of industry 4.0 in the pulp and paper industry. The European pulp and paper industry has experienced and consistently supported the three major phases of industrial transformation since the 18th century. From steam power to electric power, then to the progressive integration of automation and information technologies, today’s paper industry stands ready to engage in its fourth industrial phase: industry 4.0.

Central to this next level of transformation is the abundance and utilisation of mass data, the ability to connect across the value chain in real-time, mass customisation and smart factories. More than simply another ‘buzzword’, industry 4.0 represents the next industrial revolution. This will contribute to Europe’s re-industrialisation and industry’s increased competitiveness.

Very soon, industry 4.0 will link product customisation with large production series, linking products to services and machines to machines. This will lead to faster, more flexible and more efficient manufacturing processes and shorter supply chains, so allowing an unprecedented level of ‘mass individualised’ customer service.

Today, the European pulp and paper industry is in full transformation. Both market and consumer needs have evolved, while policy pressure and global competition have increased. Therefore, industry has to innovate to remain competitive. Innovation can address not only processes, services and products, but also business models, workforce training and education. Consequently, our industry sees huge potential in ‘digital’, instead of treating it as a trend we are forced to compete with.

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19 Nov.2015 ,

Paper industry launches the Age of Fibre at European Paper Week 2015

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) has concluded the 17th edition of European Paper Week 2015. Its great success is reflected in a record number of attendees: More than 400 industry representatives gathered in Brussels for three intensive days and have left full of inspiring ideas, new contacts and good memories.

The industry declared the start of The Age of Fibre, and launched a brand new publication containing the most innovative products of the pulp and paper industry. This new publication is the third in the sequence of initiatives that started with the 2050 Roadmap in 2011, followed by the Two Team Project in 2013. All products featured in the new publication were shipped to Brussels for an exhibition that ran throughout the event.

Engaging with European policy makers, the industry stressed European competitiveness. Gary McGann, CEPI Chairman, said “Europe needs a real improvement of competitiveness, not competitiveness which is delivered by potentially temporary currency weakness. We again ask for a completion of the internal market, competitive energy prices, a more flexible and mobile employment environment and a reduction in the extent and cost of governance across Europe. This means greater efficiency in policy making, speedy decision making and clearer accountability to ensure a progressive Europe and a progressive industry”.

Never before did European Paper Week bring together such a large number of prominent speakers. With Industry 4.0 being the overriding theme of the event, the keynote speaker was renowned economist Jeremy Rifkin, author of 20 books about the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. In an energetic dialogue with Commissioner Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, he presented his theory of the Zero Marginal Cost Society via a live video link from the United States.

Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society, Gunther Oettinger, gave the Commission‟s view on Industry 4.0 and the future of industry in Europe, while Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, joined the dinner and congratulated outgoing Chairman Gary McGann. From 2016 onwards Peter Oswald, CEO of Mondi Europe & International, will be the new CEPI Chairman.

European Paper Week also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform. European Commissioner Carlos Moedas, responsible for Research, Science and Innovation, congratulated the platform for its achievements.

European Paper Week 2015 covered a wide range of topics, from hot EU policies such as the Circular Economy and Emissions Trading System, to market developments (in collaboration with RISI), the future of speciality papers and the US paper industry campaign, How Life Unfolds.

The industry launched its preliminary statistics for 2015, showing that the transformation of industry continues, while volumes and turnover stay relatively stable.

Photos and presentations from the event will soon be available at

If you have any questions, please contact Annie Xystouris at Mobile: +32(0)486 24 36 42.


For supporting information, download our press pack.

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22 Oct.2015

ERPC Monitoring Report 2014


Since 2000, the European paper value chain has been committed to the two-fold aim of increasing recycling and joining efforts to remove obstacles hampering paper recycling in Europe. Consequently, today’s situation is transformed relative to what we experienced 15 years ago.

In 2014, 71.7% of all paper consumed in Europe was recycled, totalling 58 million tonnes. Compared to the previous year, that represents an increase of 0.7%. Paper consumption has increased by the slightly higher figure of 1.2% compared to 2013, reaching 81 million tonnes. Currently, 22% of paper consumption cannot be collected or recycled. We are clearly nearing maximum potential.

This situation is also linked to changing consumption patterns affecting the most recycled paper products. We have seen the continued decline of newspaper consumption in 2014. At the same time, the increased consumption of corrugated boxes has only partly compensated the challenge of declining graphic paper consumption for the overall recycling rate.

In 2014, we have also seen good achievements at the regional level, despite differences continuing to exist. The number of countries with recycling rates below 60% has
decreased, while the number of countries with a recycling rate above 70% has increased, compared to last year.

On an international level, Europe continues to be the world leader in paper recycling, followed by North America. Other world regions’ paper recycling rates have also improved, but starting from lower levels. In Europe, paper fibres have 3.5 loops on average, far above the global average of 2.4.

The paper fibre loop offers the current EU-level discussions on the circular economy a clear and workable model to be followed. Paper recycling is an industry “Made in Europe”. It prolongs value chains and creates green European jobs based on a renewable resource.

CEPI is a Signatory Member of the ERPC.

ERPC website:

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15 Oct.2015 ,

Polish primary school and Finnish university win 2015 paper recycling awards

Yesterday, the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) announced the winners of the fifth European Paper Recycling awards. The well-attended ceremony took place at the European Parliament and was hosted by MEP Eva Kaili who is also head of the Greek S&D delegation.

The winner of the Technology Improvement and R&D category was Aalto University and VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland) with a new, innovative process for turning paper for recycling and cardboard into textile fibres called Ioncell-F.

Although producing textile fibres from cellulosic material is nothing new, the process submitted by Aalto University and VTT is innovative in two ways. Firstly, it allows for the production of fibres of quality equal or better than those deriving from similar processes. Their high strength also renders the fibres suitable as natural reinforcement in composite materials. Secondly, the process makes it possible to use lignin as a natural textile dye.

The Ioncell-F process is based on the use of a so-called ionic liquid to dissolve cellulosic waste material without the addition of toxic chemicals and spin fibres for the production of textiles and garments. “We’re happy to see this environmentally-friendly process already attracting considerable interest, even though it is still in a developmental phase”, said Michael Hummel, Postdoctoral researcher at Aalto University.

The winner of the Information and Education category was the Literatura za Makulature (Literature for Paper for Recycling) project, submitted by a primary school in the Tychy region of Poland. In order to encourage children to get involved in paper recycling, the school invited famous Polish authors to meet its pupils, paying for their participation with money raised from selling the paper for recycling brought to school by the children. The initiative is unique not only in Tychy but in Poland.
In his speech ERPC Chairman Henri Vermeulen stressed the role of the recycling awards. “It is our pleasure to highlight and reward innovative paper recycling projects coming from education institutions. Initiatives like these prove that the paper industry is already the perfect example of a circular economy”, he added.

Five more entries were commended by the jury: Ecofolio for their project ‘The Modulated Eco-Contribution Scale’, Papierenkarton.nlz o.o. for their ‘Papier & Karton Educational Programme’ (Information and Education category); PTS Papiertechnische Stiftung for ‘Advanced treatment of recycled pulp by use of hydrodynamic cavitation pulses’, Alucha & SCA Hygiene Products for ‘REFILLS (Recovering of Energy and FILLers from Sludge)’ and Kadant International for ‘Polycup recycling at James Cropper speciality papers’ (Technology Improvement and R&D category).

Photos from the awards and presentations given by the winners are available at The next edition of the ERPC recycling awards will be organised in 2017. For more information, please contact the ERPC Secretariat, Ulrich Leberle, at +32 2 627 49 23, +32 479 90 59 21 or


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