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European paper industry stands ready to defend Circular Economy in the context of Chinese waste import ban
CEPI, the European association representing the paper industy has been closely monitoring market developments in reaction to the material waste import ban by the Chinese authorities including paper for recycling.
The import restrictions have caused disruption to the European markets and the countries where paper collection is comingled have been the first to be hit. This comingling practice raises the risk of contamination from other materials which can reduce the quality of paper for recycling and technically impede the recycling process.
The European paper industry is making investments and will continue to do so over the coming years in new paper recycling capacities which ensure that high quality paper for recycling remains in Europe. A core component to achieving more recycling in Europe will be to upscale our efforts on implementing European standards on the quality of paper for recycling (EN 643) and the collection of paper seperately from other recyclables.
It is estimated that less than 5% of paper collected in Europe has been directly impacted by the Chinese import waste ban. It nonetheless provides the industry with the impetus to drive forward quality paper for recycling which is effectively recycled in Europe. It is equally an indication that comingled collection systems are no longer sustainable both from an environmental and market perspective in the future.
Note to editor:
CEPI is the European association representing the paper industry at EU level. European paper recycling paper has been a success story with 72.5% of all paper in Europe collected for recycling while 83% (50 milion tonnes) of this recycling is made in European paper mills. Together with 14 other European associations in the paper recycling value chain we are committed to reaching a 74% recycling rate by 2020. Through our participation in the EU-funded project ImpactPapeRec and other means we are proactively seeking means to improve best practices on separate collection across Europe.
Our full statement can be consulted here.
For general enquiries, please contact Ulrich Leberle, CEPI Raw Materials Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (+32) 2 627 49 23
For press-related enquiries please contact Ben Kennard, CEPI Communications and Media Manaager at email@example.com or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82
On the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Forests and dedicated to “Forests for Sustainable Cities”, representatives of European forest owners, managers and forest-based industries call for more awareness and support to further use the potential of European forests to contribute to a sustainable future.
Forests play a crucial role in providing multiple benefits for citizens. They deliver forest products and many other ecosystem services (recreation, clean air and water, biodiversity, scenic and cultural values…). Wood is a renewable raw material used in construction, furniture, pulp and paper, as well as for energy. It also serves as a substitute for non-renewable raw materials and energy. Moreover, forests contribute to job creation and economic growth.
In this context, EU forests have the potential to keep– and possibly increase – their contribution to these needs in the coming years. On average, 60% of the annual growth of EU forests is harvested, leading to a regular and significant increase in wood resources.
In the current discussion at EU level, several policies (research and innovation, rural development, climate and energy) and strategies (Forest Strategy, Bioeconomy Strategy) provide opportunities to enhance sustainable and multifunctional forest management while supporting the development of innovative bio-based value chains.
Piotr Borkowski, Executive Director of EUSTAFOR, and Fanny-Pomme Langue, Secretary General of CEPF, highlight that “There is still an important unexploited potential in terms of the wood and non-wood products and services provided by European forests. EU policies should contribute to unlock this potential so as to better meet existing and future demands. However, it should be stressed that sound economic prospects are essential in order for European forests to meet the growing social and environmental demands which are also being made on them”.
According to Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of CEPI, the European association representing the pulp and paper industry, “The EU should balance its target setting and demand-side approach with measures to increase supply. These measures should secure and improve forest growth and mobilise more wood from European forests for all kinds of uses“.
Patrizio Antonicoli, Secretary General of CEI-Bois highlights: “Forests and wood-based products play a central role in climate-change mitigation. This year’s theme of the UN International Day of Forests furthermore offers the opportunity to highlight the high potential contribution of timber building systems and wood construction materials.”
The undersigned organisations highlight the importance to better acknowledge and coordinate existing EU and national forest-related legislation which are already in place, which safeguard sustainable and multifunctional forestry and which are additionally supported by voluntary systems certification schemes. This is essential in ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the sector.
The International Day of Forests 2018 is taking place at a moment when EU policies have an opportunity to demonstrate how to enhance the potential of European forests and better mobilise their resources to further benefit society. This is an opportunity worth seizing.
An update has been made to the European Paper Recycling Council’s (EPRC) “Assessment of Printed Product Recyclability”.
This Scorecard for the Removability of Adhesive Applications now includes an annex for applications where there is sufficient experience and confidence that they will deliver good results on removability.
Non-water-soluble or non-dispersible hot melt adhesives are now exempted from testing under certain conditions. If an adhesive application does not conform to with the conditions in this annex, no conclusion can be made about its removability.
The EPRC considers this a step forward towards improving ecodesign, prolonging the recycling loop for printed graphic paper.
The updated scorecard can be found here.
For further information, please contact Ulrich Leberle at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (+32) 2 627 49 23
For press-related enquiries, please contact Ben Kennard at email@example.com or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82
Note to editor:
The European Paper Recycling Council (EPRC) 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 2017 the EPRC committed itself to meeting and maintaining both a voluntary recycling rate target of 74% in the EU27 plus Switzerland and Norway by 2020 as well as qualitative targets in areas such as waste prevention, ecodesign and research and development. In 2017, Members of the ERPC are ACE, CEPI, CITPA, EMFA, ETS, FEPE, INGEDE and INTERGRAF. Supporters are Afera, EuPIA, FINAT and RadTECH Europe. FEICA, the Association of the European Adhesive and Sealant Industry also recently joined the EPRC as a supporter. DG Environment and DG Grow of the European Commission are permanent observers to the EPRC.
The EU has today released a report related to a Trade Barrier Regulation ("TBR") investigation launched following a complaint lodged by CEPI, the European association representing the paper industry. The report upheld the complaint finding that the measures imposed by Turkey on the imports of certain varieties of paper such as office paper, books, envelopes and paper used for direct mail marketing (otherwise known as uncoated wood free (“UWF”) paper) from the EU were inconsistent with both WTO and the EU–Turkey Customs Union rules.
"CEPI takes pride in its strong commitment to free trade with its partners. The decision by the Turkish authorities to remove these unfair measures is applaudable; however this issue should never have been escalated in the first place. It is our expectation that the Turkish authorities stand by their obligations under the EU-Turkey Customs Union Agreement in the future” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI.
In advance of the Commission’s publication of the report Turkey removed the unfair trade measures. With this in mind, the EU has decided not to pursue the matter further. The industry will however remain vigilant that similar measures do not hinder the free flow of trade between the EU and Turkey in the future, particularly in light of the modernisation of the EU-Turkey Customs Union Agreement.
Background to the trade complaint:
Following an inconclusive safeguard investigation on UWF imports in 2014-2015, Turkey extended in 2016 an existing import licensing system which targeted €150 million of EU exports of UWF paper products.The Turkish non-automatic import licensing system with regard to UWF paper was based on an arbitrary price threshold and created a significant and unfair obstacle to EU-Turkey trade. The contested system posed a clear violation of WTO and the EU-Turkey Customs Union Agreement. The European paper industry already exports 22% of its produce outside the EU and will continue to remain an advocate for free trade and take a firm stance where this is put at risk.
For more information, please contact Bernard Lombard, Industrial Policy Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (+32) 2 627 49 22.
For press-related enquiries, please contact Ben Kennard, Press Manager, at email@example.com or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82.
The European Parliament Environment committee today adopted the deal on the Waste Package in a move that backs plans to boost recycling and reduce landfilling. More on the details of the final deal can be read here.
“The Waste Package makes the right step towards building Europe’s Circular Economy. Yet much will depend on Member States not abusing flexibilities offered by the compromise texts. It is essential that clear guidance is set to prevent commingling of waste and to effectively measure recycling not at collection, but where it actually happens” Director General of CEPI
Follow the action over on Twitter with the hashtag #WastePackage and retweet here if you agree with us!