Stay part of the CEPI community!

On May 25th 2018 the new EU data privacy legislation (GDPR) came into force. If you want to stay part of the CEPI community we will require your explicit opt-in if you wish to continue receiving updates from us such as event invitations, press releases, our newsletter (CEPI Members and Partners only) etc. To make sure you don’t miss out on the latest news from one of Europe’s most innovative industries or to join our community as a first time subscriber please click below. Read our data privacy and cookie policy here

01 Apr.2014

Think before you shred - a poster

We’ve all shredded pieces of paper before throwing them in the recycling bin, sometimes simply as a habit. What a lot of us do not know is that shredding shortens paper fibres. Why is that bad?, you might ask. The answer is simple. The longer the fibre, the more valuable the paper is for the recycling process.


When it comes to what should and shouldn’t be shredded, keep this in mind: if the paper has sensitive information on it, shred it; if not, don’t. The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) has recently published a new poster illustrating this principle.

The poster shows two different groups of documents falling into a recycling bin or a shredder. In the ‘recycling group’ you can find books, magazines, office paper and cards, while the ‘shredder group’ includes examples such as investment transactions, accountancy and medical records, tax forms, credit card statements and pay slips.

Since 2000, the European paper value chain has joined efforts to improve recycling in Europe via the ERPC. You can help them achieve their goal. Before shredding your paper, think about whether you need to shred it. You will be serving the environment and contributing to reducing waste, pollution and climate change, while saving office costs.

“Think before you shred”’ follows last year’s very successful “Paper Recycling in the Office” guidance and is based on an example by the American Forest & Paper Association. The ERPC plans to distribute the poster also to European Commission employees as well as to the newly elected European Parliament members in September.




View Flipbook
Read more

14 Feb.2014

Landfill and incineration restriction for recyclable paper

Increase the availability of paper for recycling in the EU

• As part of the Waste Target review, the paper industry proposes an EU-wide ban on landfilling/incineration of recyclable paper by 2020.
• Current EU paper recycling performance could increase by 10 million tonnes of paper and board if diverted from landfilling and incineration. Theoretically this incremental volume could result in a paper recycling rate of about 80% (71.7% was achieved in 2012).
• The policy context in the EU supports the notion of diverting recyclable materials from landfilling and incineration to recycling. However, without a legal requirement,local authorities do not always make recycling a priority for these streams. The paper industry is committed to supporting them in doing so.


In 2012, about 78.5 million tonnes of paper were consumed in Europe (EU-27). Of this volume, 56 million tonnes were recycled. An estimated volume of 10 million tonnes of paper and board, potentially useful for recycling, is currently going into incineration or landfill. The industry sees this as a valuable source of material that could be put back into the production cycle – increasing the current EU recycling rate significantly – but needs legal support to enable this because waste management decisions are mostly made by local authorities. The paper industry is committed to supporting local authorities in improving the collection of paper for recycling.

Increasing the availability of paper for recycling will have a positive effect on job and value creation in the EU, both in the waste management sector as well as in the processing industries. An extra 10 million tonnes would result in a paper recycling rate of about 80% (71.7% in 2012).

A ban in landfill will bring about a coherent implementation of EU policy
European Commission communications emphasise that a resource-efficient Europe needs to turn its own waste into a resource so as to decrease its dependence on imports of raw materials, reduce the impacts on the environment and generate economic opportunities.

The Waste Framework Directive includes a waste hierarchy which clearly prioritises recycling over energy recovery and disposal. One of the key conclusions of the European Commission’s report on the Thematic Strategy on the Prevention and Recycling of Waste1 is that ‘’Significant margin for progress still exists beyond the current EU minimum collection and recycling targets’’. ‘’[An] optimal combination of economic and legal instruments should be promoted notably through landfill bans and by applying the producer responsibility concept to additional waste streams on the basis of a common European approach’’.

The Road Map for a Resource Efficient Europe foresees: ‘’By 2020, waste [will be] managed as a resource’’. ‘’Energy recovery is limited to non-recyclable materials, landfilling is virtually eliminated and high quality recycling is ensured’’. Europe needs to step up its efforts so as to achieve this milestone for all recyclable materials by 2020.

CEPI believes that recyclable paper presents a material source for which the above milestone can be realistically met by 2020 at the latest. A specific ban on landfilling/incineration of recyclable paper could mark the first concrete step towards the elimination of incineration/landfilling of all recyclable materials by 2020 or at a later date where appropriate.

For more information, please contact Mr. Jori Ringman-Beck at (, mobile n°: +32 478 255 070.

1 European Commission, 2011. Report from the Commission on the Thematic Strategy on the Prevention and Recycling of Waste. COM(2011) 13 final, p 9


Read more

12 Dec.2013

CEPI Guidance for revised EN643 published

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (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. The association also announced that they will organise a webinar on the EN643 revision on 19 December 2013.

CEPI advises 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.

CEPI issued a guidance describing the changes in the updated EN643, whilst national standardisation bodies in Europe are preparing for the official launch early 2014. The guidance was first presented at European Paper Week in English, but will soon be available in German, French, Spanish and Polish. Other languages may follow at a later stage.
Paper industry experts will be available for question and answers at a webinar organised by CEPI on 19 December 2013 at 10 am. During the webinar CEPI staff will describe the changes in the EN643 standard in detail and will allow for enough time to answer all queries.


For more information, please contact Daniela Haiduc at, mobile: +32(0)473 562 936

Note to the Editor
Download EN643 guidance at



Read more

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.


For more information, please contact Daniela Haiduc at, mobile: +32(0)473562936


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:

Official European Parliament reaction:

More photos: CEPI End-of-waste for paper protest:

Read more

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.


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 (length=1hour)

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


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)


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

Read more