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10 Dec.2013

Paper Industry Applauds European Parliament Decision to Defend Recycling Jobs in Europe

European Commission asked to go back to the drawing board

The European paper industry warmly welcomes today's decision by the European Parliament to block proposed legislation which would have had the effect of classifying waste paper as "recycled" paper before it has been recycled1. This vote in Strasbourg will save more than 20,000 direct green jobs in the paper industry and an estimated additional 140,000 indirect jobs in Europe.

"We are glad to see the European Parliament remembered that the original purpose of defining when something is no longer to be considered a waste was to facilitate recycling not to obstruct it," comments Teresa Presas, Director General of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), on the outcome in Strasbourg. "If this proposal had become law it would also have burdened the global environment with needless additional energy use and emissions. It's a good decision.”

If this legislation had passed, it would have relaxed the EU's waste management rules and triggered a flight of waste paper out of the EU to Asia, pushing up prices in Europe and undermining the quality of waste paper available for the European recycling sector. This in turn would have crippled the world class paper recycling in the EU, the result of years of investment by the paper recycling industry here. Paper recycling in Europe would likely have dropped from about 47 million tonnes per year to 37 million tonnes, leading to closures of mills, including many small and medium-sized operators.

Today, the European Parliament plenary backed the earlier decision of its specialist environment committee to reject the Commission initiative, voting in favour by 606 votes to 77. MEPs insisted that the Commission had not properly assessed the impacts of its draft regulation on paper recycling and in shipments of waste paper to third countries. The Parliament also argued that the proposal was not compatible with the aim and content of the EU's basic framework directive on waste and exceeded the implementing powers conferred on the Commission by that directive - a comprehensive rejection.

In September this year, CEPI temporarily dumped bales of waste paper in front of the Commission's headquarters building in Brussels to draw attention to the problem. Shortly after, the EU member states voting on the issue failed to reach a majority on what to do, leaving it up to MEPs to decide whether or not to send the Commission back to the drawing board.

“We are delighted that the voice of reason has finally emerged," explains Jori Ringman-Beck, CEPI Recycling and Product Director. "We now hope that the Commission's environmental protection department will reflect on the content of this resolution and revise the criteria for determining when used paper is waste and when it's not.”

CEPI is not against defining criteria to determine when used paper ceases to be classified as waste, but maintains that the approach now needs to be fundamentally revisited and aligned with the newer more progressive criteria that the Commission has developed lately for other material streams. In general, the old approach, which was carried over by the Commission into the paper proposal just rejected in Strasbourg, has hardly been implemented in practice - indicating that these measures have not been able to capture what is needed by the market in reality.

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For more information, please contact Daniela Haiduc at d.haiduc@cepi.org, mobile: +32(0)473562936

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1 Motion for a Resolution on the draft Commission regulation on defining criteria determining when recovered paper ceases to be waste


Note to the Editor

Resolution from the European Parliament:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/envi/re/1005/1005273/1005273en.pdf

Official European Parliament reaction: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20131210IPR30409/html/MEPs-veto-paper-waste-proposal-amid-environmental-concerns

More photos: CEPI End-of-waste for paper protest: http://www.cepi.org/photogallery/endofwasteprotest

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29 Nov.2013

The new EN643

EN 643 is the European List of Standard Grdes of Paper and Board for Recycling. Revised in 2013, the new text includes several major improvements, including a grade-specific tolerance level for non-paper component and more detailed descriptions per grade. CEPI advises all organisations and individuals involved in trade with paper and board for recycling to implement and use the updated standard.

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The CEPI guidance document

We launched a guidance document that details the changes in the revised EN643, to give advice to sellers and buyers of paper for recycling. The guidance was first launched at European Paper Week in English, but is already available in French and Portuguese. Other languages may follow.

English version

Portuguese version

 French version

We have also prepared a summary one-pager and a power point presentation(in English).

A webinar detaling the changes in the revised standard was organised in December 2013: The video recording is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tISOY39D3k (length=1hour)

We also prepared the following video giving the most important reasons for using the guidance:

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The updated EN643 standard

The updated EN643 standard is now available on the national standardisation websites below:

   
Link Link Link  Link Link Link Link Link Link Link
 (EN)  (EN)  (DE, EN)  (DE, EN) (EN, FR, NL) (FR) (EN) (EN) (EN) (EN)

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Responsible Management of Recovered Paper: Guidelines on reponsible sourcing and quality control

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27 Nov.2013

The new EN643 guidance

CEPI launched a pocket-size guidance document that details the changes in the revised EN643 European List of Standard Grades of Paper and Board for Recycling.

We also organised a webinar on the EN643 revision on 19 December 2013. We advise all organisations and individuals involved in trade with paper and board for recycling, to prepare for the introduction of the updated standard. Many multinational companies are already implementing the new EN643 standard into their IT-systems, such as SAP. The new text includes several major improvements, including a grade-specific tolerance level for non-paper component and more detailed descriptions per grade.

This guidance was first launched at European Paper Week in English, but will soon be available in German, French, Spanish and Polish. Other languages may follow. In a webinar organised on 19 December 2013 at 10 am, paper industry experts described the changes in the EN643 standard in detail and allowed for enough time to answer all queries.

A webinar detailing all the changes in the revised standard can be viewed here(length=1 hour)

View our video with the most important reasons why we should use the guidance here.

The document is also available in Portuguese and French.

Portuguese version

 French version

The updated EN643 standard is now available in English for purchase on the British, German and Dutch standardisation websites:

             
Link Link Link              
                   

 

 

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08 Nov.2013 ,

Standardisation bodies vote to improve quality of paper recycling

CEPI advises industry to prepare for the updated EN643 standard


Paper and board for recycling is a very important secondary raw material for the European paper industry. To improve quality and the definition of grades for this raw material, the European List of Standard Grades of Paper and Board for Recycling is being revised by CEN - the European Committee for Standardisation. National standardisation bodies that are members of CEN, voted unanimously in favour of the update to the EN643 standard this week. This vote was the culmination of many years of work by the involved parties.


As a next step, the final text for the revised EN643 will be translated and published by CEN and its national standardisation bodies latest in February 2014. The CEN working group was able to agree on several improvements to the EN643, including a grade-specific tolerance level for non-paper components and more detailed descriptions per grade.

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) advises all organisations and individuals involved in trade with paper and board for recycling, to prepare for the introduction of the updated standard. Jori Ringman-Beck, CEPI Recycling and Environment Director, stressed: “Although this material has a waste status legally, it is important to push quality management through the whole supply chain.”

CEPI has been advocating responsible sourcing and quality management of paper for recycling over 10 years and is now organising an information session on the EN643 during the European Paper Week on 27 November in Brussels. Throughout the meeting CEPI experts will describe the detailed changes to the standard. In addition, CEPI is preparing a guidance document that explains the differences to the old EN 643 in a printed pocket-size format. It will first be available to participants at the European Paper Week.


CEPI and the European Federation representing the European waste management industry (FEAD), as well as the European Recovered Paper Association (ERPA) initiated the update of the standard by submitting a joint revision proposal back in May 2011. In April 2013 the CEN/TC172 Working Group 2 sent their recommendations for the EN643 revision to CEN for final approval and vote by their members.


Commenting on the vote, Mr Ringman-Beck said: “We are happy that the standardisation authorities agreed with the revisions further improving the EN643 standard. I believe the new EN643 will surely advance the quality of paper for recycling and improve paper recycling by eliminating unwanted materials early on in the paper recovery process. This is another contribution by CEPI, ERPA and FEAD to a resource efficient EU.“


For more information, please contact Daniela Haiduc at d.haiduc@cepi.org, mobile: +32(0)473562936


Note to the Editor

CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 520 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 950 paper mills. Together they represent 24% of world production.

European Paper Week: http://www.cepi.org/EPW

CEN standardisation bodies: http://www.cen.eu/cen/Members/Pages/default.aspx
 

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04 Nov.2013 ,

Commission proposal will benefit Asian industry

The European paper industry closes the loop in paper recycling in Europe with a world record recycling rate of 72 %. The European Commission’s DG Environment is now disrupting the best practices that supported this, by an ill-advised proposal for end-of-waste for paper.


The European Commission proposal on end-of-waste criteria for paper jeopardises jobs and paper recycling in Europe. European paper industries’ competitors in Asia will benefit from the current proposal, as it facilitates exports of recovered paper, of which the collection is largely paid by European tax payers. The end-of-waste criteria - as they are currently set – would make shipments of this precious raw material to Asia simpler and increase pollution through transport and recycling in facilities with weaker environmental policies.


The European paper industry could be self-sufficient in using recovered paper from Europe. Instead, the Commission endangers its best practice example in resource efficiency: paper recycling. The European Parliament will vote on an objection to the end-of-waste criteria for paper in the Environment Committee on 5 November. In the resolution objecting the proposal cross-party MEPs declare that the European Commission has stepped outside its legal mandate.

Commenting on the resolution from the European Parliament Teresa Presas, CEPI Director General, said: “It is obvious from past behaviour and from current communications by the Dutch traders and speculators of waste that their interests are contrasting the European paper industries’ interests. We are the buyers of recovered paper on the market, they want to sell.”

“As users of recovered paper we want to be able to set the quality specifications for our raw material. We hope the European Parliament and the European Commission will keep in mind that the original purpose of end-of-waste criteria is to facilitate recycling, not to obstruct it nor to burden the global environment!”, she stressed.

The jobs created by waste management companies are the same, whether the material they collect will be recycled in Europe or in Asia. But jobs and extra value in the re-processing and manufacturing industry are only kept in Europe, when the material is available in Europe. The end-of-waste criteria will cause a drop from 47 million tonnes to 37 million tonnes in paper recycling in Europe leading to closures of mills, including SMEs, and losses of 20,500 direct green jobs in the paper industry and additionally 140,000 indirect jobs in Europe.

The majority of EU member states at the Council and the whole European paper industry are opposed to the current end-of-waste criteria – not the end-of-waste principle as such. The European Commission failed to submit a justification for moving the point of end-of-waste from the current point after reprocessing in paper mills to before reprocessing. Furthermore, defining end-of-waste before recycling has actually taken place would cause problems in relation to a vast body of existing Community legislation such as eco-labels, public procurement, eco-design and REACH where ‘recycling’ is referred to.

Jori Ringman-Beck, CEPI Recycling and Product Director explained: The European Commission has changed the way it deals with End-of-Waste and the current proposal for paper is still reflecting the early thinking of DG Environment in this area. The bureaucratic inertia of DG Environment now means they are pushing for adoption of a proposal that was drafted years ago and does not fulfil its original purpose: to facilitate resource efficient paper recycling made in Europe. We have been asking for quite some time and will continue to ask DG Environment to reflect on the on-going discussions and to revise the criteria for end-of-waste for paper.”

According to the Commission proposal, this paper in its actual form is ready to use ‘recycled paper’ – i.e. to be put into a printer, drafting a document on or be awarded an EU Ecolabel.


For more information, please contact Daniela Haiduc at d.haiduc@cepi.org, mobile: +32(0)473562936


Note to the Editor

CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 520 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 950 paper mills. Together they represent 24% of world production.

Commission proposal for end-of-waste
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2013:0502:FIN:EN:PDF

Euractiv article Circular economy calls on the EU to think globally, act locally: http://www.euractiv.com/sustainability/circular-economy-calls-eu-think-analysis-531915

CEPI impact assessment of End-of-waste


 

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