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The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) welcomes today’s vote in Environment Committee (ENVI) strengthening the foundation of a truly circular economy in Europe.
“MEPs are now one step closer to building a truly circular economy” says Sylvain Lhôte, CEPI Director General. “The package needs to be kept on the right track in order to deliver the circular economy in and for Europe".
CEPI welcomes ENVI’s call to measure real recycling rates at the input to the final recycling process. To truly drive circularity in Europe, it is essential that material is only considered recycled once it enters the final production process and is actually reprocessed.
CEPI also supports the ENVI’s call for quality standards and traceability in the paper recycling chain that will enhance targeted investments and serve the efficient functioning of the secondary raw material market in Europe.
The reinforcement of separate collection will also drive quality recycling and boost circularity of Europe’s economy. In the past, authorities have used a loophole in the separate collection obligation to collect paper in co-mingled streams, undermining high quality recycling. CEPI is therefore concerned that the proposal to exempt scarcely populated areas from this obligation may unnecessarily open up a gap.
CEPI will further assess the extremely high gap between recycling targets of competing packaging materials, envisioned by MEPs.
Finally, CEPI is also encouraged by ENVI’s call on Member States to promote the use of bio-based recyclable packaging. “Leveraging on nature’s cycles for the circular economy is a welcome complement to the ambition of the Commission’s proposal” says Ulrich Leberle, CEPI Raw Materials Director.
For more information, please contact Ulrich Leberle at email@example.com or by phone at (+32) 2 62749 23
For press related enquiries please contact Ben Kennard at firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82
• The European project IMPACTPapeRec will bring together about 70 professionals on 24 January in Barcelona (Spain), to focus on the challenges and opportunities for increasing separate collection of paper in EU countries.
• Experts from STORAENSO, CEPI, ASPAPEL, SPRINGLOOP COOPERATIE, INTECUS, ACR+, DIN, PROPAKMA, PTS and ITENE will analysebest practices across Europe, optimum quality of Paper for Recycling, payment systems’ efficiency depending on the quantity of residues produced and incentives to recycling, as well as the issue of non-legally-established paper collection waste management systems.
• The Packaging, Transport and Logistics Research Center (ITENE) organises the event as the coordinator of the IMPACTPapeRec project. The project is supported by the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program and consists of a consortium of 19 partners from 8 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Spain.
Consumption of paper and board in the EU stands at 82 million tonnes, 58 million of which are recycled to make new paper and board products. 47 million tones are recycled in Europe and 11 in other countries, meaning a paper recycling rate of 71.7% in Europe, according to the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI).
ITENE, IMPACTPapeRec coordinator, organises the first “Project Conference and Networking Informative Meeting” with the objective of further increasing the separate collection of paper for recycling and promoting appropriate schemes to avoid landfilling and incineration.
The event will be held on 24 January in Barcelona and it will bring together more than 70 professionals to attend experts’ presentations from STORAENSO, CEPI, ASPAPEL, SPRINGLOOP COOPERATIE, INTECUS, ACR +, DIN, PROPAKMA, PTS and ITENE.
First, participants will learn about the current state of selective collection of Paper for Recycling in Europe, including the main challenges and opportunities identified in different EU countries as well as best practices already in place. The optimal quality of Paper for Recycling and collection will also be discussed, as well as experts’ opinions on incentives for recycling and pay-as-you-through systems efficacy, plus the issue of informal paper collection that is not part of the legally established systems.
After the Conference, during the Networking Informative Meeting attendees will be asked to share their ideas and opinions on good practices, incentives, policy making and standardisation actions needed to increase the selective collection of Paper for Recycling and its quality in Europe.
The audience will include stakeholders involved in recycling and sustainability issues working in the paper industry, municipalities across the EU, waste management companies, policy makers, standardization odies and citizen associations.
Attendance to the Conference and Networking Meeting is free of charge. You can find further information and registration details at www.impactpaperec.eu
Note to editor
The IMPACTPapeRec project is financed by the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme and supports the separate collection of paper commitment of the European Innovation Platform (EIP) in New Materials.
ITENE coordinates the project consortium formed by 19 partners from eight European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Spain.
IMPACTPapeRec aims to put Europe at the forefront of paper for recycling (PfR) collection by providing an innovative and common knowledge platform. The innovative approach of the defined participatory strategy is based on the real engagement of the whole paper value chain including research, industry, policies, standards, municipalities and citizens.
The recently-revised deinkability scorecard by the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) now includes an annex listing exemptions to the deinkability test. With this annex, the widely-used deinkability scorecard takes account of those printing technologies and material combinations that are sure to deliver good deinkability results, based on past experiences. Testing remains a requirement for processes and material combinations for which there is not enough experience on their deinkability behaviour. The annex will be subject to future revisions based on new data.
“The ERPC approach to deinkability, i.e. by testing and assessing results with a scorecard on the one hand and by exempting certain paper / printing technology combinations on the other hand is an effective way to secure high quality recycling while being cost-effective for the producers of printed products” says Henri Vermeulen, ERPC Chairman.
Recent suggestions that the European Commission would not extend EU Ecolabel for tissue paper and newsprint among others give reason to believe that other paper-related Ecolabels are also under threat. These could include the Ecolabel on printed paper products, where deinkability is one criterion. “Deinking is an important part of the recycling process and therefore a key issue for the sustainability of printed paper products. The EU Ecolabel is a strong supporter of their recycling and their recyclability. We urge policymakers to recognise the tangible value of the EU Ecolabel” says Ulrich Leberle, ERPC secretary.
The new deinking scorecard is available here
Notes to Editor:
The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) was set up as an industry self-initiative in November 2000 to monitor progress towards meeting the paper recycling targets set out in the 2000 European Declaration on Paper Recycling. Since then the commitments in the Declaration are renewed every five years. In 2001 the ERPC committed itself to meeting and maintaining both a voluntary recycling rate target of 70% in the EU27 plus Switzerland and Norway by 2015 as well as qualitative targets in areas such as waste prevention, ecodesign, and research and development. In 2016, Members of the ERPC are ACE, CEPI, CITPA, EMFA, ERPA, ETS, FEPE, INGEDE and INTERGRAF. Supporters are Afera, EuPIA, FINAT and RADTECH Europe. The European Commission, DG Environment and DGGrow, are permanent observers to the ERPC.
Letter to the European Commission President Juncker and First Vice-President Timmermans: Concerns on the potential discontinuation of EU Ecolabel product groups
We, European paper manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, consumer organisations and environmental NGOs, are writing to share our concerns about the possible removal of a number of EU Ecolabel product groups which we understand the Commission is considering. In our view, such a unilateral and unexpected consideration would be premature, given the ongoing Fitness Check of the EU Ecolabel Regulation, and we urge the Commission to reconsider the possible discontinuation of these product groups.
The Commission has recognised the EU Ecolabel as an “incentive scheme in favour of the market” which can benefit consumers and boost job creation. This voluntary, market-based instrument is also consistent with, and complementary to, other EU policies concerning the circular economy and sustainable development.
The Commission has suggested discontinuing some product groups that include two relatively successful EU Ecolabel paper-related products (tissue and newsprint). Such a discontinuation would have the following consequences:
1. Environmental benefits would be reduced: Narrowing the scope and the uptake of the scheme will reduce its positive effects as a sign-post for product sustainability in areas ranging from biodiversity to water and energy efficiency or chemicals and raw materials management.
2. A proliferation of labels could lead to additional confusion among consumers: The Ecolabel is designed to help EU citizens make sustainable purchases, with a range of almost 40,000 environmentally more friendly products and services, of which one quarter are paper-related. Consumers already face a wide variety of labels, and a credible EU Ecolabel allows them to buy with more confidence. Having no EU Ecolabel for paper may result in a further proliferation of private or national schemes. Such schemes are likely to use slightly differing criteria and contain protectionist national features, hampering the functioning of the EU single market.
3. Business would face significant costs: Both the tissue and newsprint EU Ecolabels have generated several billions of euros in sales every year. Companies have invested significantly to be able to use the EU Ecolabel on their products which has helped companies market these products across the EU and access green public procurement with fewer administrative burdens. Such market uptake takes time and perseverance. Dropping these labels would lead to extra costs for such companies, as for example existing packaging materials of EU Ecolabelled products would need to be modified, and would create market uncertainty.
The Commission’s suggestion to prematurely remove specific product groups in isolation raises questions not only over the evidence used, but also on the process, governance and stakeholder consultation as set under the EU Ecolabel Regulation. This also seems to us incompatible with the Commission’s Better Regulation guidelines issued last year.
We therefore urge the Commission to:
- Reconsider any suggested discontinuation of specific product groups at this point in time;
- Underpin with clear evidence, such as produced by the Fitness check, any decision on the fate of the ecolabels for specific product groups and the future of the scheme;
- Make the consultation process transparent, involving the EU Ecolabelling Board and stakeholders from manufacturing, retail and consumer organisations.
We remain at your disposal for any questions you might have and to further discuss any issues related to the future of the EU Ecolabel.
Sylvain Lhôte, Director General Confederation of European Paper Industries
Roberto Berardi, Chairman, European Tissue Symposium
Monique Goyens, Director General, The European Consumer Organisation
Jeremy Wates, Secretary General, European Environmental Bureau
Christian Verschueren, Director General, Eurocommerce
Note to editor:
For more information please contact:
CEPI: Jori Ringman, Sustainability Director by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at
ETS: Phil Mogel, Relation Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
BEUC & EEB: Blanca Morales, EU Ecolabel Coordinator at Blanca.Morales@beuc.eu
Eurocommerce: Lettemieke Mulder, Director Sustainability & Product Policy at email@example.com