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04 Jun.2013

Less than a month left to apply for the European Paper Recycling Award!

The fourth edition of the European Paper Recycling awards is well underway, with less than a month left before the application deadline (28 June 2013). We would like to remind you that the award is open to all organisations based in Europe: regional and national authorities, NGOs, associations but also schools, universities and companies.

If you think you have an innovative project or campaign (or if you have heard of one) that could challenge for the award, don’t wait any longer: get your efforts recognised! Register the project at The winner will also receive an original piece of paper artwork at the awards ceremony which will take place on 2 October at the European Parliament in Brussels. Travel costs to the ceremony will be covered for the winner.

Have a look at the members of the jury and our frequently asked questions. If you have any more questions about the award, please send an email to

We are looking forward to receiving more entries!



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03 Jun.2013

Simple paper recycling rules from the ERPC

Have you ever held a plastic spiral notebook or a used pizza box and wondered if it should go in the recycling bin? Did a windowed envelope end up in your waste bin because you didn’t have time to cut the window out, thinking that it should be removed? The European Paper Recovery Council (ERPC) recently published a poster with nine simple rules for paper recycling, which answers the above questions and more.

This campaign targets offices in particular, where paper can make up 90% of the waste generated. Often half the amount of paper an employee uses a year ends up as waste rather than being recycled. By diverting paper products from landfill and incineration, carbon is saved, and the life of fibres is extended over multiple life cycles.

The rules are simple and can make a big difference if applied. Even though currently every year 70% of all used paper in the EU is recycled, about 10 million tonnes of paper are still potentially available for recycling, enough to fill 100 football stadiums! There are many reasons for this, but one of them is ignorance as to how paper for recycling should be collected.

For example, many do not know that paper should not be shredded, as fibres are damaged, adding an unnecessary cost. There is no need to remove staples, paper clips etc from paper as the recycling processes are designed to remove them. You didn’t know about this either? Now you do! So next time you have doubts on whether or not a piece of paper is recyclable or not, just take a look at these 9 rules and act accordingly. You will participate in the creation of a more sustainable world.

For more information, please contact the ERPC Secretariat, Jori Ringman-Beck, at +32 2 627 49 19, or visit


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02 Apr.2013

ERPC Launches Call for Candidates for European Paper Recycling Award 2013

Paper recycling initiatives are invited to apply for the fourth European Paper Recycling Award. NGOs, educational institutes, local authorities and industry have implemented many innovative projects to enhance paper recycling all over Europe but these initiatives are generally not well known. By promoting these initiatives and raising their profile with an award the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) recognises these efforts and hopes to inspire others to copy good practices. The award will identify projects, initiatives and campaigns that contribute to Europe‟s sustainability through activities supporting paper recycling.

“Recycling is the key to achieving sustainability in production and consumption in Europe. Paper recycling, in particular, contributes significantly to green growth, combating climate change and improving resource efficiency. This makes a valuable contribution to the environment”, explains Beatrice Klose, Chairperson of the ERPC.

Eligible projects, initiatives or campaigns will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
• Relevance and originality
• Achievements
• Possibility to reproduce the project
• Cost effectiveness

There are two award categories:
• Information & Education
• Technology improvement & R&D

The initiatives may be ongoing or completed, but they must already have started; however, not before January 2009. All entries must be submitted by Friday 28 June 2013 before midday Brussels time. To apply please go to Should you need some inspiration, the website also contains information from past awards.

An independent jury from across Europe will judge the entries in each category. The jury includes representatives from the European institutions as well as civic organisations and NGOs. European wide recognition of the winning candidate‟s efforts will be accompanied by an original piece of paper artwork, which will be officially handed over to the winners in an award ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels.

For more information, please contact the ERPC Secretariat, Jori Ringman-Beck, at +32 2 627 49 19, +32 478 255070, or visit

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18 Jan.2013

Spain’s Waste Act champions recycling ‘made in Europe’

Large retail outlets, banks, hotel chains, service companies, town councils … from now on all such entities are able to legally demand that their recyclable waste materials be finally recycled in Europe, according to the new Spanish Waste Act, which was passed on 29 November 2012.

According to David Barrio, director of Recycling at ASPAPEL, “this new legislation upholds the legality of Recycling ‘Made in Europe’ and gives Spanish generators of recyclable waste materials powers to decide on the final destination of their waste”.

The 2011 Waste Act was the first bill in the Spanish law to introduce the possibility of town councils giving priority to recycling within the European Union. Now, with the recently passed Law on urgent measures concerning environmental matters, which amends the previous Waste Act, the possibility of applying recycling in proximity and circular economy is extended to all producers or initial holders of recyclable waste.

The European recycling society and the circular economy
As David Barrio explains: “Thanks to proximity recycling, the European recycling society turns the 6 tonnes of waste that each European citizen produces in a year into an opportunity to create wealth and green employment in Europe, in a sustainable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner, thereby giving value to the significant efforts made across Europe in recent years in terms of waste recovery”.

Recycling all kinds of waste materials (paper, glass, metal…) and turning them into new products manufactured by the European industry leads to the creation of a circular economy, which in turn builds up a larger industrial sector and creates wealth and employment precisely where the efforts and investments have been made to set up efficient waste collection systems. Furthermore, it guarantees that all recycling will be carried out in accordance with stringent EU environmental requirements.

By developing a European Recycling Society through measures such as this new Spanish law, the EU estimates that over 400,000 jobs could be created in Europe between now and 2020.

The Spanish paper industry supports initiatives in favour of the circular economy
“The Spanish paper industry,” continues David Barrio, “supports this initiative in favour of the circular economy with our own significant and expanding recycling capacity. Nowadays, we are the second largest paper recycling industry in Europe - second only to Germany – a level that enables us to close our cycle by recycling all the used paper and board collected in the country”.

Six good reasons for promoting recycling within the European Union:

1. Support for the European recycling industry.
2. Creation of green employment in Europe.
3. Reduction of emissions associated with transport of waste.
4. Compliance of recycling with the European environmental requirements.
5. Creation of wealth in those areas where the efforts and investments have been made to improve waste collection.
6. Greater transparency and control over the recycling process, which in turn leads to enhanced consumer confidence.
Stated in the Spanish Waste Act
Article 16.3: "With regard to waste materials elegible for recycling, public administrations may articulate temporary mechanisms that give priority to recycling within the European Union when such recycling is justified on environmental grounds."

16th new additional provision: Recyclable Waste: “Producers and other initial holders of recyclable waste materials may give priority to their complete treatment within the European Union in order to prevent the environmental impact of transporting waste out of the EU, in accordance with applicable regulations."

 ASPAPEL (Spanish Association of Pulp and Paper Manufacturers) is a nationwide professional organization that brings together companies in the pulp and paper sector. Associated member companies (about 60) account for over 90% of the Spanish sector’s total output.

ASPAPEL Press Office - Tel.: +34 91 561 68 26
Ángeles Álvarez
Marta Cerceño

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