Media Centre - Publications
The recycling rate in Europe reached 71.7% in 2013.
The total amount of paper collected and recycled in the paper sector remains stable at just over 57 million tonnes, despite the decreasing consumption of paper in Europe. Recycling has increased by 45% (18 million tonnes) since 1998, the base year for the first voluntary commitment set in the European Declaration on Paper Recycling. In strong contrast, consumption has dropped back to the 1998 level of 80 million tonnes. A net volume of 8.3 million tonnes (14%) of the total 57 million tonnes was bought by third countries for recycling outside the commitment region of EU-27 plus Norway and Switzerland.
We know that the world’s growing population is putting increasing pressure on global resources and that the world’s current consumption patterns are simply not sustainable in the longer term. As the world’s finite supply of fossil fuels diminishes, in direct contrast to the increasing demands of a larger population, we will need to move to a circular economy based on renewable resources and optimum efficiency. In contrast to the linear model of take, make, dispose, a circular economy is a framework that takes insights from living systems. It considers that our systems should work like organisms, processing nutrients that can be fed back into the cycle, whether biological or technical, which is where phrases such as “closed loop” or “regenerative” come in.
It’s also why we believe Europe’s paper industry has a very bright future – because it is already a benchmark model of resource efficiency and a perfect fit for the circular economy. It is inherently sustainable by nature: Based on renewable, recyclable raw materials, Europe’s paper industry can produce second-generation biofuels to replace crude oil as well as renewable bio-based products. It provides packaging solutions to avoid food waste and it uses residues from the woodworking industry as its raw materials.
CEPI has just published a folder illustrating resource efficiency examples in the pulp and paper industry. You can download the full publication here.
On the thematic pages included in this folder you’ll find lots of concrete examples of how the pulp and paper industry is already living the circular economy. The 7 themes that compose the publication are listed below and can be downloaded separately:
For more information on resource efficiency and the European paper industry, please contact CEPI Senior Raw Materials manager Ulrich Leberle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve all shredded pieces of paper before throwing them in the recycling bin, sometimes simply as a habit. What a lot of us do not know is that shredding shortens paper fibres. Why is that bad?, you might ask. The answer is simple. The longer the fibre, the more valuable the paper is for the recycling process.
When it comes to what should and shouldn’t be shredded, keep this in mind: if the paper has sensitive information on it, shred it; if not, don’t. The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) has recently published a new poster illustrating this principle.
The poster shows two different groups of documents falling into a recycling bin or a shredder. In the ‘recycling group’ you can find books, magazines, office paper and cards, while the ‘shredder group’ includes examples such as investment transactions, accountancy and medical records, tax forms, credit card statements and pay slips.
Since 2000, the European paper value chain has joined efforts to improve recycling in Europe via the ERPC. You can help them achieve their goal. Before shredding your paper, think about whether you need to shred it. You will be serving the environment and contributing to reducing waste, pollution and climate change, while saving office costs.
“Think before you shred”’ follows last year’s very successful “Paper Recycling in the Office” guidance and is based on an example by the American Forest & Paper Association. The ERPC plans to distribute the poster also to European Commission employees as well as to the newly elected European Parliament members in September.
The European pulp and paper industry has searched for, and now found, breakthrough technology concepts which can enable a competitive future in Europe. The example is a fascinating case study from one of Europe’s energy intensive industries.
At this year’s European Paper Week gathering in Brussels CEPI unveiled eight concepts for breakthrough technologies that provide solutions which can enable the future of the industry in Europe. Each solution offers opportunity to create value, reduce costs, improve margins, radically change sector operations and allow massive decarbonisation.
CEPI launched a pocket-size guidance document that details the changes in the revised EN643 European List of Standard Grades of Paper and Board for Recycling.
We also organised a webinar on the EN643 revision on 19 December 2013. We advise all organisations and individuals involved in trade with paper and board for recycling, to prepare for the introduction of the updated standard. Many multinational companies are already implementing the new EN643 standard into their IT-systems, such as SAP. The new text includes several major improvements, including a grade-specific tolerance level for non-paper component and more detailed descriptions per grade.
This guidance was first launched at European Paper Week in English, but will soon be available in German, French, Spanish and Polish. Other languages may follow. In a webinar organised on 19 December 2013 at 10 am, paper industry experts described the changes in the EN643 standard in detail and allowed for enough time to answer all queries.
A webinar detailing all the changes in the revised standard can be viewed here(length=1 hour)
View our video with the most important reasons why we should use the guidance here.
The document is also available in Portuguese and French.
The updated EN643 standard is now available in English for purchase on the British, German and Dutch standardisation websites:
The leaflet outlines how the cluster of industries which form the print media value chain - papermaking, paper converting, printing and publishing – are valuable contributors to the new low-carbon, resource-efficient and knowledge-based economy. This in turn contributes to the EU 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
PMG is an established network that meets regularly to discuss common issues, share best practice, and learn and benefit from the interdependence of the constituent players.
The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) announced an impressive 71.7% paper recycling rate for Europe. In their annual monitoring report the ERPC revealed that current paper consumption in Europe has dropped by 13% to the level of 1998, but the recycled amount of paper is 1.5 times higher than in 1998 - a remarkable achievement.
Since 2000 the ERPC has worked consistently on improving the quantity and quality of paper available for recycling. The ERPC monitoring report releases extra insights into the wider context of paper recycling revealing that Europe is the global champion in this field. Furthermore, the ERPC reports that in Europe paper fibre is recycled an astounding 3.5 times a year; world-wide the average is 2.4 times.
The report illustrates additional good news. The number of European countries with a recycling rate below 60% has decreased, whereas there are an established 13 countries where paper recycling rates exceed 70%. To increase paper recycling especially in Central Europe, several ERPC members are partners in EU funded projects working to improve collection systems in that region.
Commenting on the results of the report, ERPC Secretary Jori Ringman-Beck, said “The European paper value chain devotes huge efforts year after year to simplify paper recycling for citizens and consumers in offices and at home. The figures in the report prove that paper recycling is truly an industry “made in Europe”. And in line with EU policies it needs to be safeguarded to remain so.”
In addition, the ERPC will award innovative technology developments and information campaigns in paper recycling at the European Paper Recycling Awards. The event takes place on 2 October in the European Parliament. For more information please go to www.paperforrecycling.eu