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Joint press release: Adoption of the EU Circular Economy Package highlights the need to shift focus from waste to resource management
On the occasion of the adoption of the EU Circular Economy Package (“Towards a circular economy: A zero waste programme for Europe”) by the European Commission, four EU recycling industries are committing to work together and pursue the common goal of promoting circular economy.
The four recycling industries include the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), the EU Non-ferrous Metals Industry Association (Eurometaux), Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) and the Groupement Européen de l'Industrie de la Régénération (GEIR). The four industries welcome a number of proposals included in the package such as: the progressive landfill ban on recyclable waste, better reporting of data, new requirements on waste exports to fight against illegal shipments of waste, the link between innovation and ambitious recycling targets.
While the Package is a right step forward in promoting recycling, the four recycling industries believe that a number of elements included in the package require further clarification:
- The proposed definition of recycling is too broad; it can create confusion with collection, sorting or pre-processing, while it should be clearly defined to favour high quality processing/recovery of materials so as to contribute to resource efficiency and a sustainable access to valuable materials. The absence of a robust recycling definition can lead to recycling targets miscalculation. The proposed change in the methodology to calculate recycling rates should serve ambitious targets but also consider industrial reality.
- The reference to high quality recycling, while very valuable, focuses too much on quantity and not enough supporting higher quality collection, sorting and recycling of the various types of materials. A more product centric approach to recycling which considers the entity of raw materials in specific product groups is recommended.
- End of waste status: the concept of quality treatment and recycling should be applied here too. If waste reaching end-of-waste status is simply exported outside the EU with no guarantee of quality treatment, the status will not contribute to the EU circular economy.
- Ambitious collection and recycling targets can be an important driver for increasing recycling levels. As an example, for waste oils, EU-wide recycling and collection targets should be introduced. Re-refining waste oils to base oils contributes to the EU circular economy and is a technically feasible way to manage this hazardous waste stream.
Note to the editor:
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit making organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing this industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Its mission is to promote the members’ business sector by taking specific actions notably, by monitoring and analysing activities and initiatives in the areas of industry, environment, energy, forestry, recycling, fiscal policies and competitiveness in general. Through CEPI, the paper industry increases its visibility and acts on emerging issues, making expert and constructive contributions on behalf of the industry.
Eurometaux is the Brussels-based EU association of the non-ferrous metals industry, representing the main EU and international metals producers, EU and international metal commodity groups and national metal federations. The industry covers base metals (Al, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn, Sn), precious metals (Au, Ag, PGM´s) and technical metals (e.g. Co, W, Cr, Mo, Mn), manufactured from both virgin and recycled raw materials.
Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) promotes plastics recycling and creates conditions that enable profitable & sustainable business while offering a service platform to its members. Currently Plastics Recyclers Europe has more than 115 members from all over the EU which are recycling more than 2.5 million tones of plastics waste.
GEIR (Groupement Européen de l'Industrie de la Régénération) is the European Re-refining Industry association. Used lubricating oils represent the largest amount of liquid, non-aqueous hazardous waste in the world. Today the European waste oil recycling industry is comprised of 28 plants and employs between 1000-1200 in re-refining and 2000-2500 people in the collection of waste oil. Seventeen of the plants produce base oils. The industry has a total nameplate capacity of 1.300.000 tonnes/year, total lube oil production of 400.000t/y and produces 500.000 t/y of other products including fuels, asphalt, gasoil, flux oil etc. It has an approximate total turnover of between € 200-250 million/year.
…but the Circular Economy Package misses six essential points
Today the European Commission adopted the EU Circular Economy Package (“Towards a circular economy: A zero waste programme for Europe). The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) welcomes the inclusion of landfill bans for recyclables by the Commission, but regrets that the package omits six essential points including incineration restrictions.
1. Still no restriction on incineration of recyclable paper
CEPI welcomes the fact that the Circular Economy Package includes landfill restrictions for recyclables as of 2025, but regrets that incineration for the same materials is not restricted. Despite the existing capacity for reprocessing paper in Europe up to 10 million tonnes of paper is currently being landfilled or incinerated in Europe.
2. Targets based on robust data and robust methods
CEPI is concerned about the way the Commission sets new recycling targets and a new calculation method without having tested them on current recycling performances first. Recycling targets in Europe should not discriminate between competing materials and the level of ambition for recycling targets needs to be set realistically.
“The new recycling targets are based on the best performing EU member states although recycling rates from these states are not comparable. Current calculation methods for recycling vary between countries.” explains Jori Ringman, CEPI Recycling, Product and Environment Director.
3. Collection targets
The paper industry calls for EU-wide minimum collection targets for recyclable materials to support high recycling and re-use targets in Europe. As EU legislation already obliges EU member states to collect at least paper, metal, plastic and glass separately by 2015, collection targets would provide an incentive to fulfil this requirement and secure a constant supply of raw materials for the European economy.
4. Recycling based on proximity
The Circular Economy Package should include a proximity principle to ensure that recycling will take place as close as possible to the consumption and collection points in Europe. This will enhance the circular economy by guaranteeing a faster recycling cycle and delivering more value with less input.
5. Recycling ‘Made in Europe’
To advance the circular economy, the definition of recycling in Europe needs to be revised. At the moment, the definition is vague and does not support good quality data collection nor reprocessing of materials.
6. A stronger focus on renewability
In nature, circularity equals renewability. The European paper industry regrets that the Commission does not acknowledge renewability of materials as a solution for the circular economy.
As the European paper industry is based on renewable raw materials and accomplished a world record paper recycling rate of almost 72% in 2013, it is at the core of the circular economy.
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For more information, please contact CEPI Recycling, Product and Environment Director Jori Ringman at (firstname.lastname@example.org), mobile: +32 478 255 070
European Commission Circular economy package: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm
CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 515 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 780 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production.
Organisations involved in paper recycling discuss European best practices
Experts on paper recycling met on 24 June in the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw. The conference focused on European best practices aimed at improving local selective collection and paper recycling performances.
More than 80 top paper recycling professionals followed the invitation from the IMPACT project group to attend the Conference entitled ‘Circular Economy – How to improve paper collection in Poland?’ on 24 June in Warsaw, Poland. The conference was followed by a visit to the newly opened Stora Enso Ostroleka mill the next day, to show paper making hands on.
SPP - the Association of Polish Papermakers was represented by their Director General Mr Zbigniew Fornalski. He expressed the hope that “this conference will kick-off a more permanent dialogue between all Polish municipalities, waste management companies and paper makers to make the best use of our available raw materials and properly prepare Poland for the circular economy”.
Jolanta Krzywiec, Director of Municipal Waste Management in the Department of Warsaw, introduced the new waste management system in Warsaw. “The municipality in Warsaw is doing their utmost to improve paper collection and ensuring a constant high quality level of this valuable raw material for the paper industry“, stressed Mrs Krzywiec. Mr Krzysztof Kawczyński - Chairman for the Committee for the Protection of the Environment in the National Chamber of Commerce introduced the new waste recycling regulation in Poland.
Several best practice cases from countries around Europe gave valuable examples to local municipalities in Poland on how to step up paper collection and recycling quality in the country. Especially the example from Aspapel – the Spanish paper industry association – showed how in a short period of time educational campaigns on paper recycling can be a very effective tool to improve recycling rates in a country.
“Paper needs to be collected separately from other waste streams to maintain a consistent quality and achieve high recycling targets and bring the current Polish recycling rate to the EU average“, explains Ulrich Leberle from the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI).
The workshop was the kick-off of the IMPACT committment -of which CEPI is a member- aiming to achieve the European Innovation Partnernship's objectives. IMPACT partners hope to organise similar events in other countries aiming to improve their paper recycling rates in the future. CEPI is also part of a European Recovered Paper Council that has pledged to improve paper recycling in Europe.
The conference was a satellite meeting as part of a larger European Commission event on resource efficiency and the circular economy - the Greenweek. Greenweek takes place every year in Brussels and attracts thousands of participants from all over Europe with an interest in the environment.
For more information, please contact Daniela Haiduc at email@example.com, mobile: +32 (0) 473562936 or Katarzyna Godlewska firstname.lastname@example.org or Agnieszka Radziłowska ARadzilowska@um.warszawa.pl
Note to the Editor
IMPACT - Introduction and Improvement of Separate Paper Collection to avoid landfilling and incineration
The partners of IMPACT will offer municipalities best practices and advice in the separate collection of paper from the municipal waste stream (mainly households and small shops) to support them in phasing out landfilling and incineration. Targeted municipalities are in regions with paper recycling rates below 60%, particularly Poland (38.5%) and Romania (53.5%), as well as areas where commingled collection is pre-dominant such as in France and in the United Kingdom. In the second half, the project will be extended to other countries with low collection rates or predominance of comingled collection. The diversion of recyclable paper from landfilling will help local authorities meet the targets of the EU landfill directive. EU Member States highly depending on landfill have to respect a target to reduce the share of biodegradable waste going to landfill to 35% by 2020.
The 2014 edition of Green Week, the biggest annual conference on European environment policy it takes place in Brussels under the theme Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency & Waste. Satellite events are taking place all around in May/June 2014 at local or regional level.
All information at http://www.greenweek2014.eu/index.html
The Association of Polish Papermakers (SPP)
The Association of Polish Papermakers is an organization of scientific, technical and managerial qualities with individual and corporate members whose activities are connected with the paper and paper converting industries. an organization of scientific, technical and managerial qualities with individual and corporate members whose activities are connected with the paper and paper converting industries. The association members represent near 80% of polish paper production and significant part of corrugated board market.
The purposes of SPP activity are:
• to integrate papermakers, preserve association tradition and document papermaking history and also create professional ethics among the members, amicable solidarity and mutual remembrance,
• to represent papermakers on the forum of the governmental and local administration organs,
• to create conditions for versatile exchange of information and options on current and future needs of the paper industry and related branches, particularly concerning production quality and quantity, new products, raw materials and intermediates, machine and equipment performance, control and automation of manufacturing processes, power engineering, environmental protection, paper trade, economic, organizational and marketing issues and personnel training.
More information available at http://www.spp.pl
Warsaw, the capital of Poland Warsaw is a major international tourist destination and an important economic hub in Central Europe. Warsaw is a green city. Since 2006, Warsaw has been hosting Recycling Days – a picnic event, during which unwanted materials, such as electronic junk, etc. is collected. In exchange for plastic bottles and used batteries one can obtain geranium seedlings, herbs or garden conifers.
Today Warsaw is revolutionizing its system of segregation, collection, treatment and recycling of waste. The new rules will mean less waste going to landfill, with far more resources being recovered and used again. The new sorting system is accompanied by a broad campaign to inform and educate the public. Warsaw is organising a multitude of environmental initiatives, as the names of selected projects prove: Festival of Trees, Earth Hour, Climate Day Picnic and Car-Free Day. In November 2013 Warsaw hosted the UN Conference on Climate Change. Organization of this summit in Poland’s capital means that Poland is holding the Presidency of the climate convention from November 2013 to November 2014. Warsaw is the only city in Poland and after Berlin, the second in Central Europe to cooperate under the C40 Large Cities Leadership Group towards Climate Change. Cooperation also takes place within the Clinton Climate Initiative organization and the Eurocities association. These activities result in the implementation of specific programs - thermo-modernization of public buildings, energy efficient street lighting, and the launching of environmentally friendly practices with regard to water, wastewater and waste management. Warsaw’s Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz is the president of Eurocities – a network for cooperation between Europe’s metropolises.
CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 520 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 950 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production.
Paper recycling: www.paperforrecycling.eu
Resource efficiency: www.cepi.org/resourceefficiency
Website: http://www.cepi.org/ email@example.com Connect with us: @EuropeanPaper
The paper recycling rate in Europe reached 71.7% in 2013. The total amount of paper collected and recycled in the European paper sector remains stable at just over 57 million tonnes, despite decreasing paper consumption 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 by the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC).
The European paper recycling rate is starting to level out and keeping it at a high rate is becoming progressively more challenging. Not only are quantities changing but so are the different paper consumption patterns.
The continuing sharp decline in newspaper consumption will significantly affect overall paper recycling levels, as newspapers are traditionally one of the best recycled paper products along with corrugated boxes. Conversely, tissue and sanitary paper consumption is increasing but cannot be accepted for recycling due to hygiene reasons. Overall, 21% of paper consumption is not recyclable or collectable.
The large majority of the 11 European countries currently still under a 60% recycling rate have reported an improved performance. In parallel, 13 European countries have already exceeded the targeted 70% recycling rate. Paper fibre is now recycled an average of 3.5 times in Europe, far exceeding the world-wide average of 2.4.
“Making recycling easy and simple year after year requires a huge effort by the paper value chain, and we are pleased to report the positive results”, says ERPC chairwoman Beatrice Klose. “Despite challenging circumstances, paper recycling has continued to perform consistently well”, she concludes.
Secure access to raw materials has become an increasingly strategic economic issue in Europe. Paper recycling is truly an industry “made in Europe”. In line with EU policies, this industry should be properly safeguarded to remain so. The paper recycling sector is ready and able to add more green jobs, skills and innovations to the European circular economy.
For more information, please contact the ERPC Secretariat, Jori Ringman, at +32 2 627 49 19, +32 478 255070 (gsm), firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.paperforrecycling.eu
Notes to Editor:
• 2013 ERPC Monitoring Report: http://www.paperforrecycling.eu/publications/erpc-publications
• The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) 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 2011, the ERPC committed itself to meeting and maintaining both a voluntary recycling rate target of 70% in the EU-27 plus Switzerland and Norway by 2015 as well as qualitative targets in areas such as waste prevention, ecodesign, and research and development.
• Members of ERPC are ACE, CEPI, CITPA, EMFA, ERPA, ETS, INGEDE, INTERGRAF, FEPE. Supporters include the EuPIA, FINAT, RADTECH Europe. The European Commission, DG Environment and DG Enterprise, are permanent observers of the ERPC.
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.