Sustainability and Circularity

The European paper industry is building on decades of work done to make its industrial model sustainable and circular, making it one of the most sustainable industries in Europe. It relies on raw materials, pulp derived from processing wood, which is intrinsically sustainable as it comes from sustainably managed forests; it has achieved a 31% decarbonisation from 2005 to date and it has become and anchor industry for industrial symbiosis, sharing materials, energy heat and water. One of our initiatives under sustainability is 4evergreen, the alliance to boost the contribution of fibre-based packaging in a circular and sustainable economy that minimises climate and environmental impact.

Paper is recycled at a rate of 71.4% (2021 data) in Europe, which is the highest recycling rate for paper in the world. Paper based packaging is even recycled at 82%. More paper based packaging is recycled than all other packaging materials combined. The paper industry thrives to further increase recycling and material use of recycling residues through the sharing of best practises and the development of cross-sectorial alliances.

For information on paper recycling, visit


Joint Statement on the legislative review amending the Waste Framework Directive and Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive

Waste Framework Directive: European material industries renew call for measurement of real recycling rates

European paper industry launches revised Paper for Recycling Quality Control guidelines

Hands-on Circular Economy – An inspiring paper mill visit with permanent representation officials

Boosting the Circular Economy: European project to promote separate paper collection launched

Boosting the Circular Economy: European project to promote separate paper collection launched

European paper industry’s views on the Circular Economy package

The Paper Packaging Industry’s view on the Circular Economy Legislative Package

European Commission delivers value: Circular Economy package recognises renewability and closes the loop