The European paper recycling value chain has already made significant strides on the paper recycling rate in the EU, having reached a near theoretical maximum of 71.5% in 2015. The industry is now seeking to make another move forward with an enhanced rate of 74% by 2020 building on the progress achieved since 2000 by preceding European Declarations on Paper Recycling.
“Having already achieved an effective recycling rate of 71.5%, the European paper recycling value chain is willing to go a step further with a new 74% target. This elevated rate will play an integral role in boosting the circularity of Europe’s economy” says Ulrich Leberle, Secretary of the EPRC/Raw Materials Director at CEPI.
Further steps will also be made to enhance the quality of paper recycling with greater emphasis on recyclability in design and manufacturing of paper products and improving techniques for removing ink from paper products.
In order to achieve this rate, a numberm of key conditions must be in place:
- On waste targets, there should be a landfill ban on recycled paper in place by 2020 and the Waste Hierarchy should be implemented with energy and renewable energy policies taken into full consideration.
- The EU should ensure that conditions are in place to allow for effective separate collection of paper and take action against countries where comingled collection is practised.
- Exports of paper for recycling outside the EU should be curtailed and aligned in a manner that an increase in the collection of paper is higher than an increase in the net trade of paper for recycling.
- European and national authorities should avoid conflicting product-related policies that prevent paper being from being recycled.
- The current practice in which Member-States calculate their recycling rates based on different methods should cease in favour of an aligned EU-wide method, allowing for comparable and real calculation.
With these conditions in place, the entire value chain can achieve the revised target and move it a step further, making recycling work for an effective European circular economy.
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. The European Commission, DG Environment and DG Grow, are permanent observers to the EPRC.