Press release: European paper recycling demonstrates high level of resilience in the light of severe global disruptions

Mar 26, 2021

Cepi, the European association representing the paper industry, has been closely monitoring market developments in reaction to the material waste import ban by the Chinese authorities including paper for recycling, the redirection of global flows of paper for recycling and structural changes in paper consumption and collection during the Covid-19 crisis.

While secondary raw materials markets are volatile by nature, Cepi emphasises that there is a healthy demand for paper for recycling in Europe and worldwide. Even in the light of severe global disruptions, the value of paper for recycling for the circular paper industry enables its collection to remain sustainable with only short-term imbalances in the supply and demand.

To sustain this resilience against major external disruptions, the message of the European paper industry remains unchanged and independent of the short-term fluctuations of raw materials markets: separate paper collection at source ensures good quality paper for recycling, which will be met with demand by the European paper industry, who has been committing to increasing paper recycling rates over the last two decades.

Cepi welcomes the fact that some countries, where separate collection of paper and board is not yet fully implemented, are now following suit by adopting separate paper and board collection at source, at household level.

Cepi is also accompanying structural developments, such as changed consumption patterns regarding publication papers and related impacts on replenishing the recycling loops with fresh fibres. At the same time, more and more consumer products are packed with sustainable fibre-based solutions, which are a valuable contribution to the paper recycling loop.

Cepi has initiated the 4evergreen Alliance to ensure that all fibre-based packaging is designed for circularity, is separately collected, sorted and effectively recycled in the paper industry.

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