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Recycling
Position paper | 20 May.2016

The paper packaging industry’s on Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste (PPWD) and Directive 2008/98/EC on waste (WFD)

Paper Packaging Coordination Group (PPCG)

Introduction
The Paper Packaging Coordination Group comprises the major European paper and board packaging associations representing the interests of a wide range of packaging products used in transport, retail and consumer packaging. Paper and board packaging is based on a renewable resource (the forest) and is recyclable. We support the concept of a circular economy in which raw materials are sourced from renewable, responsibly-managed resources and recycled after use.


1. Recycling targets for paper and board
Key messages:
• The proposed targets are ambitious, reflect technical and economic realities and can be achieved.
• Packaging recycling targets should be at comparable levels between different consumer packaging materials. High achievement of one packaging material should not compensate for another material’s lower achievement.
• We welcome the proposal that waste exported outside Europe should count towards the target of the Member State where it has been collected on condition that recycling takes place in equivalent environmental conditions.

We welcome the proposed targets for paper and board by the Commission. The paper and board packaging industry in Europe has achieved high recycling rates. In 2014, the average paper and board packaging recycling rate was 81.1% (CEPI). The EUROSTAT figure for 2011 was 79.9%. However, there are also significant differences between Member States, with the recycling rate ranging from 59% to 98% (EUROSTAT). Calculation methods for recycling vary between countries, making it difficult to compare existing data from different countries.


2. Recycling rate calculation
Key messages:
• We support quality recycling.
• We support the harmonised method based on “input to final recycling process”.
• Calculation formulas should be adapted and clarified with regards to “preparation for re-use and recycling” of “products and components” for packaging
We believe the “input” to the final recycling process is the correct basis for calculating the recycling rate and will improve the quality of recycling.

Recommendations:

Final recycling process
• Article 1(2f) of the proposal for amending the WFD with a definition of “final recycling process” should read as follows: “final recycling process” means the recycling process which begins when no further mechanical sorting operation is needed and when waste and waste considered to have ceased to be waste in accordance with Article 6 enter a production process and are effectively reprocessed into products, materials or substances”.
• Article 1(5a) (i) should be consistent with the new definition of final recycling process. Therefore Article 6 (1c) of the WFD should therefore be amended as follows: “the substance or object fulfils the technical requirements for the final recycling process and meets the existing standards and legislation applicable to products.”

Derogation
• The derogation article 11a paragraph 3(a) and (b) of the proposed amendments to the WFD and derogation article 6a paragraph 3 (a) and 3(b) of the proposed amendments to the PPWD should read as follows: “The weight of materials or substances that are not subject to a final recycling process and that are disposed or subject to energy recovery remains below the maximum threshold of impurities acceptable to operators carrying out a final recycling process in order to ensure quality recycling. These thresholds are outlined in Annex VII”. There should be a new annex VII on impurities limits per waste stream, in which the impurities limit for paper (non-paper components and other unwanted materials) should be set at 3% in line with the EN 643.

 

Packaging is different from the other waste streams, which the European Commission already acknowledges by having a dedicated directive for packaging and packaging waste. Packaging which is re-used in a closed loop is not considered as waste and only becomes waste when it leaves the loop. Mixing waste and non-waste (“products and components”) in one calculation formula will jeopardise the potential a harmonised method could have to deliver robust, comparable and accurate reporting. This, combined with an optional reporting on “products and components” will lead to increasing differences in the Member States’ reporting. It may also trigger cases where targets are met by clever calculations without an effective contribution to the circular economy. The resources needed from the European Commission to control the accurate implementation of the formula would be disproportionate to the potential benefits.

Recommendations:
Calculation method and formula
• The formula in Annex IV of the PPWD should be clarified to avoid misinterpretations, under claims or over claims and allow for fair treatment of packaging, considering the intrinsic differences among materials.
• For packaging, the proposed Article 6a), paragraph 1c) should be deleted. Member States should not be optionally allowed to include in the calculation “products and components prepared for re-use”.
• For packaging, “R” should be removed from the formula in Annex IV.
• The denominator “P” should be clearly explained by defining “packaging waste generated”, as, for example, “total packaging placed on the market”.


3. Minimum requirements for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
Key messages:
• EPR systems should be transparent.
• The scope of EPR and roles and responsibilities of each actor involved in packaging waste management should be clearly defined.
• A minimum requirement for EPR systems to collect all (packaging) materials should be introduced.
• A reference to EPR systems needs to be made in PPWD (94/62/EC) to ensure the protection of the internal market, and in the WFD (2008/98/EC).

We welcome the Commission’s intention to make EPR systems transparent as well as the inclusion of three important elements in the Commission’s proposal for general requirements for EPR systems: Eco-modulation, optimised cost and secondary raw materials sales revenues. Recyclability is a key criterion in eco-modulation for EPR systems andensures the value from the sales of secondary raw material. As the additional cost for their collection can be covered by these revenues, the contribution of producers should be lower. Within every material category, criteria for eco-modulation should be carefully designed so they do not inhibit innovation, technical progress, the functioning of the internal market and specific requirements regarding the packed products.
The provisions on general requirements for EPR systems should describe the costs to be covered without using non-exhaustive lists.


Recommendations:
• Article 1(8) 4. (a) first paragraph of the proposal for amending the WFD should read as follows: “Cover the following cost of waste management for the products it puts on the Union market:…”
• The packaging sector should be recognised as a stakeholder in the EPR process so that it can share its expertise in managing the different materials


4. Separate collection, Landfill and Incineration of waste

Key messages:
• Recyclable packaging waste should not go to landfill. We support the ban on landfilling separately collected waste.
• Separate collection of all packaging waste should be strengthened and clarified.
• Incineration of recyclables should be restricted.

The requirement for separate collection of recyclable packaging waste is a precondition to avoid landfilling. The proposal aims in the right direction by linking the provisions on landfill restrictions to the separate collection requirement in the WFD and by introducing a methodology to measure the recycling rate at the input to a final recycling process, and by defining this final recycling process.

Despite the existing capacity for reprocessing paper in Europe, up to 10 million tonnes of all paper, including packaging, are currently being landfilled or incinerated in Europe. This situation has to be addressed, otherwise ambitious recycling targets cannot be achieved.

Paper and board should be collected separately from other recyclables such as plastics, metal, glass – or any combination thereof - and residual waste. Separate collection of all packaging and packaging waste is crucial in order to promote a circular economy and guarantee a high quality of secondary raw materials. The WFD formulated a separate collection target in 2008, but this has been interpreted in different ways by Member States. Beverage cartons (consisting predominantly of board) should be collected in the most optimal way for further recycling, which may differ from country to country.

Recommendations:
• Article 11(1) of the WFD should be amended by changing ”for the relevant recycling sectors” to “for the relevant final recycling processes”.
• Article 11(11) of the WFD should be amended to clarify that paper shall be collected separately from metal, plastic and glass.


5. Unlock the potential of Renewable, Bio-Based Materials
Key message:
• EU circular economy policies and measures should promote and encourage the use of bio-based materials as an essential solution to achieve a real circular economy.

The increased use of packaging made from bio-based materials fosters the establishment of a truly circular economy by taking into account an efficient use of renewable resources (biomass), integrated production and efficient use of bio-based feedstock in integrated bio-refineries. A true circular economy needs to be built on renewable carbon.
This logic should be extended to the legislative proposals under the circular economy package, in particular for sectors where solutions are already available, e.g. packaging. Therefore, the signatories request the recognition and encouragement of the use of materials from renewable sources in the PPWD.
Furthermore, using renewable, bio-based materials decreases Europe’s dependence on the import of raw materials and supports green development within the EU, leading to green growth and jobs.
 

Recommendations:
• Amend the PPWD with the explicit requirement for Member States to encourage the use of bio-based materials for the manufacturing of packaging, where appropriate.
• Introduce a clear definition of what is meant by ‘bio-based’ to ensure coherent interpretation and a level-playing field for producers. The signatories recommend using existing definitions of the CEN Technical Committee TC 411 on bio-based products which define ‘bio-based’ as “derived from biomass” and ‘biomass’ as “material of biological origin excluding material embedded in geological formations and/or fossilised”.


6. Food waste
Key messages:
• We support the efforts of the Commission to reduce the generation of food waste.
• Cooperation among all stakeholders in the food supply chain and the Commission is needed.
Packaging prevents food loss and food waste in a sustainable way. UN studies support the fact that a substantial reduction of food losses can be achieved by providing and using the right packaging solution.

Recommendations:
• The methodologies (paragraph 4) developed by the Commission should consider the positive role of packaging in the prevention of food waste.
• The packaging sector should be among the stakeholders consulted on the subject.

Currently, the following organisations participate in the PPCG:

CEPI, Confederation of European Paper Industries
CITPA, International Confederation of Paper & Board Converters
ACE, The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment
ECMA, European Carton Makers Association
EMBALPACK, European Association of Makers of Packaging Papers
EMFA, European Moulded Fibre Association
CEPI EUROKRAFT, European Producers of Sack Kraft Paper and Kraft Paper
CEPI CONTAINERBOARD, European Producers of corrugated case materials
EUROSAC, European Federation of Multiwall Paper Sack Manufacturers
FEFCO, European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers
PRO CARTON, European Association of Carton and Cartonboard Manufacturers

 The position paper can be downloaded here.

Publication | 04 Apr.2016

Paper for Recycling Quality Control guidelines

The European Standard EN 643, European list of standard grades of paper and board for recycling, is the basic document to be used by industry professionals in the buying and selling of paper for recycling. Interested parties should order the EN 643 from their respective national standardisation body . The standard was revised in 2013. It defines what the different grades of paper for recycling can and cannot contain as well as defining prohibited materials and unwanted materials. It also sets maximum tolerance levels by grade for unwanted materials.

Specific agreements between buyer and supplier for grades with special specifications might still be necessary to meet individual requirements. However, general recommendations are needed to facilitate a common understanding of the standard.

To achieve greater harmonisation, to improve the implementation of the EN 643 Standard and to facilitate commercial relationships between paper mills and paper for recycling suppliers, these guidelines contain recommendations regarding paper for recycling quality controls for paper for recycling suppliers and paper mills.

The publication is now available in French
 

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Press Release | 04 Apr.2016

European paper industry launches revised Paper for Recycling Quality Control guidelines

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) has revised its guidelines on Paper for Recycling quality control, with recommendations for Paper for Recycling suppliers and paper mills. The objective of the guidelines publication is to achieve greater harmonisation, to improve the implementation of the EN 643 Standard and to facilitate commercial relationships between paper mills and paper for recycling suppliers.

The revised guidelines put a strong emphasis on the inspection procedure for quality control at the paper mill and explain what controllers should consider during an inspection in order to decide if a load should be accepted, conditionally accepted or refused. After a general control, further important parameters for quality control are named, i.e. bale conditions, moisture control and control of unwanted materials. The control procedure recommended is described in detail and illustrated by a decision tree at the end of the document.

The guidelines give furthermore recommendations on the level of information for suppliers, documentation and staff education.

CEPI will organise a free webinar in the weeks to come, to present the revised guidelines and to answer any questions that may arise.

You can download the publication at: http://bit.ly/1ouOkFm

For more information, please contact: Ulrich Leberle, Raw Materials Director at CEPI: u.leberle@cepi.org, +32 2 627 49 23.
 

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Publication | 02 Mar.2016

Design and Management for Circularity – the Case of Paper

The European paper industry was invited to collaborate with the World Economic Forum (the Forum), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment on Circular Economy to produce a white paper with guidelines on design and management for circularity. The new publication provides essential guidance to all actors in the supply chain through simple ecodesign rules for paper products, without limiting innovation and the introduction of new techniques. This is a product of the three pilots under Project MainStream, launched during the 2014 summit in Davos.

Although highly recyclable, paper is usually converted by industries that add chemicals to it through printing inks and other auxiliary materials. This can lead to problems in subsequent circular chains, as these chemicals cannot easily be removed from the paper before re-entering the mill. Furthermore, the already highly-optimised recycling process cannot follow the speed of the evolution of inks and toners.

The publication summarises the key choices to be made by direct (printers, papermakers, collectors) and indirect (such as local authorities, ink producers, equipment manufacturers) stakeholders. More specifically, it identifies the choices that can influence businesses ordering a fibre-based product - printed paper, packaging or other.

Read the press release on the topic.

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Press Release | 02 Mar.2016

Circular Economy for paper: Better design and management guidelines

A World Economic Forum publication in collaboration with industry

The European paper industry was invited to collaborate with the World Economic Forum (the Forum), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment on Circular Economy to produce a white paper with guidelines on design and management for circularity. The new publication provides essential guidance to all actors in the supply chain through simple ecodesign rules for paper products, without limiting innovation and the introduction of new techniques. This is a product of the three pilots under Project MainStream, launched during the 2014 summit in Davos.

“We trust helping circular thinking in all steps of the complex value chain will help reach higher in what is already a high recycling performance”, said CEPI Sustainability Director Jori Ringman, one of the draftsmen of the guidance, in a panel discussion on the feasibility of higher recycling rates at the Packaging and Sustainability event in Brussels on Wednesday. “In circular economy, your downstream is your upstream and what you pass on into the loop will have an impact on your own business.”

Although highly recyclable, paper is usually converted by industries that add chemicals to it through printing inks and other auxiliary materials. This can lead to problems in subsequent circular chains, as these chemicals cannot easily be removed from the paper before re-entering the mill. Furthermore, the already highly-optimised recycling process cannot follow the speed of the evolution of inks and toners.

The publication summarises the key choices to be made by direct (printers, papermakers, collectors) and indirect (such as local authorities, ink producers, equipment manufacturers) stakeholders. More specifically, it identifies the choices that can influence businesses ordering a fibre-based product - printed paper, packaging or other.

“Businesses will have many priorities topping their agendas, such as meeting customer requirements, creating functionalities that meet both the purpose and profitability, and respecting environmental considerations”, says Ringman. “This document is meant to make decision-making in companies easier when balancing these priorities.”

You can view the publication at: http://bit.ly/1T7vLVb and download it at: http://bit.ly/1QqTqdt.

For more information, please contact Jori Ringman at j.ringman@cepi.org, mobile: +32 478 25 50 70.


Note to the Editor

Project MainStream is a collaboration between the World Economic Forum, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, seeking to remove bottlenecks in the large-scale transitioning to the circular economy.

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 505 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 920 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production.

 

 

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Press Release | 09 Feb.2016

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

IMPACTPapeRec is a European project to further increase the separate collection of paper for recycling and promote appropriate schemes to avoid landfilling and incineration.

• A best practice handbook will be developed to support the different EU regions in the implementation of best collection procedures.


IMPACTPapeRec started on 1 February 2016 for a period of two years and is financed by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme. It has evolved from a commitment on separate paper collection in the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials.


36 experts from eight countries representing research institutes, municipalities, obliged producers, paper industry and NGOs gathered in Valencia, Spain, to kick off the project and plan the activities for the next few months.


The project focuses on countries with below average paper recycling rates such as Bulgaria, Poland and Romania as well as countries where paper from households, small shops and offices is often collected in a commingled stream with other recyclables like in France and the UK. The participants started discussing the existing schemes as well as indicators to define best practice separate collection schemes.


Antonio Dobon from the project coordinator ITENE said: “We are very excited about the start of the project. It comes at a time when the European Commission presented its proposal for a Circular Economy stressing the importance of separate collection. With this project we will work to reach the recycling targets in those territories that are below the average. We will also seek for Paper for Recycling collection practices that allow reach both environmental and economic benefits. For doing so, we will define these best practices and spread them widely in Europe so that other municipalities can adopt them”.

IMPACTPapeRec is a consortium of 19 partners from 8 countries, i.e. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Spain. IMPACTPapeRec aims to put Europe at the forefront of paper for recycling (PfR) collection by providing an innovative and common knowledge platform. The innovative approach of the defined participatory strategy is based on the real engagement of the whole paper value chain including research, industry, policies, standards, municipalities and citizens.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 690182

PARTNERS


For more information:
Ulrich Leberle, CEPI Raw Materials Director, Tel: +32 2 627 4923, u.leberle@cepi.org

The press release is also available in French.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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News | 03 Dec.2015

European paper industry's views on the Circular Economy package

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) welcomes the long-awaited Circular Economy package that was launched by the European Commission. By recognising the contribution of biomass and bio-based products to the Circular Economy the European Commission now takes into account that circularity in many cases starts with raw materials from renewable sources. CEPI is looking forward to concrete actions in the field of bio-based product in the future. In addition, the European Commission has recognised the importance of ending waste management options that do not create value for Europe. CEPI also believes that the Commission is right in recognising recyclability as waste prevention and in harmonising the method for the calculation of recycling rates to make data more comparable and reliable. The European paper industry, together with its partners in the paper value chain, is about to publish the European Declaration on Paper Recycling committing to a further increase in paper recycling from today’s already high 71,7% paper recycling rate.

Read the full press release here.

Press Release | 02 Dec.2015

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

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) welcomes the Circular Economy package that was launched by the European Commission today. “Our expectations have been met. This major policy initiative has correctly identified the synergies needed to find real solutions. The package has reached a level of ambition rarely seen in policymaking,” says Marco Mensink, CEPI Director General.


By recognising the contribution of biomass and bio-based products to the Circular Economy the European Commission now takes into account that circularity in many cases starts with raw materials from renewable sources. CEPI is looking forward to concrete actions in the field of bio-based product in the future.


In addition, the European Commission has recognised the importance of ending waste management options that do not create value for Europe.


Marco Mensink says: “It is great to see that the Commission recognises the need for separate collection of paper, providing good quality raw materials. We also appreciate that further limits to landfilling are being put in place”. This is a file where the needs of industry closely align with many other stakeholder positions. The Commission proposes a logical step forward. “A step that should be taken from legislation to reality as soon as possible.”


CEPI also believes that the Commission is right in recognising recyclability as waste prevention and in harmonising the method for the calculation of recycling rates to make data more comparable and reliable. The European paper industry, together with its partners in the paper value chain, is about to publish the European Declaration on Paper Recycling committing to a further increase in paper recycling from today’s already high 71,7% paper recycling rate.


For more information, please contact Annette Requardt at a.requardt@cepi.org, mobile +32 489 84 8950


Note to the Editor
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 505 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 920 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production.

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Press Release | 01 Dec.2015

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

The Paper Packaging Coordination Group comprises the major European paper and board packaging associations¹ which represent the interests of a wide range of packaging products used in transport, retail and consumer packaging. Paper and board packaging is based on a renewable resource (the forest) and is recyclable. We support the concept of a Circular Economy in which raw materials are sourced from renewable, responsibly managed resources and where possible, recycled after use.

The members of our associations are directly affected by proposals in the Circular Economy legislative package published today, which amend the waste and packaging waste legislation. We will submit our detailed responses to specific proposals when we have had time to study them, but meanwhile we wish to present our joint approach on the major topics which affect us:

1. Recycling targets for paper and board
• Targets should be ambitious and reflect technical and economic realities
• For materials, a clear focus on recycling should be ensured
• Packaging recycling targets should be proportionate between different consumer packaging materials, fairly taking into account each material’s situation, achievements and potential for improvement. High achievement of one packaging material should not compensate for another material’s lower achievement.

2. Need to revise the calculation method before setting new targets
• The method for the calculation of recycling rates should be harmonised, providing clarity and simplification for ease of application
• The “input” method should be the basis of the calculation
• EU requirements for recycling should apply equally to exports of paper for recycling and should be enforced

3. Design of packaging
• Additional mandatory design requirements at national level for packaging will undermine the objectives of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD)

4. Composition of municipal waste
• Retailers should have the freedom to choose the method of collection of their secondary and tertiary packaging waste

5. Minimum requirements for Extended Producer Responsibility
• The scope of EPR and roles and responsibilities of each actor involved in packaging waste management should be clearly defined

6. Landfill and incineration of waste
• Recyclables should not be sent to landfill
• Separate collection of materials should be strengthened
• Incineration of recyclables should be restricted

7. Ecodesign and product design
• The essential requirements in the PPWD and related CEN standards are sufficient to provide guidance for ecodesign of packaging
• Packaging should serve the functionality and the safety of the product first
• Packaging should not be seen in isolation from the product
• Ecodesign concepts as part of a product’s design, should encompass the whole life cycle of the product with its packaging

8. Renewability of material resources
• Renewability of material resources is a natural driver for circularity and should be an essential element of a Circular Economy

We particularly welcome the consideration of the role of the bioeconomy in Circular Economy thinking, as we have strongly advocated that sustainable, natural, renewable resources play an essential role in completing the loop of a Circular Economy.

For further information please read the Paper Packaging Coordination Group’s position paper on the Circular Economy package: http://www.cepi.org/positionpaper/PPCGcirculareconomy

 
¹Currently the following organisations participate in the Paper Packaging Coordination Group:

CEPI, Confederation of European Paper Industries
CEPI Containerboard, European industry association of producers of corrugated case materials
CITPA, International Confederation of Paper & Board Converters
ACE, The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment
ECMA, European Carton Makers Association
EMBALPACK, European Association of Makers of Packaging Papers
EMFA, European Moulded Fibre Association
CEPI EUROKRAFT, European Producers of Sack Kraft Paper and Kraft Paper
EUROSAC, European Federation of Multiwall Paper Sack Manufacturers
FEFCO, European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers
PRO CARTON, European Association of Carton and Cartonboard Manufacturers
 

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Publication | 22 Oct.2015

ERPC Monitoring Report 2014

Summary:

Since 2000, the European paper value chain has been committed to the two-fold aim of increasing recycling and joining efforts to remove obstacles hampering paper recycling in Europe. Consequently, today’s situation is transformed relative to what we experienced 15 years ago.

In 2014, 71.7% of all paper consumed in Europe was recycled, totalling 58 million tonnes. Compared to the previous year, that represents an increase of 0.7%. Paper consumption has increased by the slightly higher figure of 1.2% compared to 2013, reaching 81 million tonnes. Currently, 22% of paper consumption cannot be collected or recycled. We are clearly nearing maximum potential.

This situation is also linked to changing consumption patterns affecting the most recycled paper products. We have seen the continued decline of newspaper consumption in 2014. At the same time, the increased consumption of corrugated boxes has only partly compensated the challenge of declining graphic paper consumption for the overall recycling rate.

In 2014, we have also seen good achievements at the regional level, despite differences continuing to exist. The number of countries with recycling rates below 60% has
decreased, while the number of countries with a recycling rate above 70% has increased, compared to last year.

On an international level, Europe continues to be the world leader in paper recycling, followed by North America. Other world regions’ paper recycling rates have also improved, but starting from lower levels. In Europe, paper fibres have 3.5 loops on average, far above the global average of 2.4.

The paper fibre loop offers the current EU-level discussions on the circular economy a clear and workable model to be followed. Paper recycling is an industry “Made in Europe”. It prolongs value chains and creates green European jobs based on a renewable resource.

CEPI is a Signatory Member of the ERPC.

ERPC website: www.paperforrecycling.eu

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News | 15 Oct.2015

Polish primary school and Finnish university win 2015 paper recycling awards

Yesterday, the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) announced the winners of the fifth European Paper Recycling awards. The well-attended ceremony took place at the European Parliament and was hosted by MEP Eva Kaili who is also head of the Greek S&D delegation.


The winner of the Technology Improvement and R&D category was Aalto University and VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland) with a new, innovative process for turning paper for recycling and cardboard into textile fibres called Ioncell-F.


Although producing textile fibres from cellulosic material is nothing new, the process submitted by Aalto University and VTT is innovative in two ways. Firstly, it allows for the production of fibres of quality equal or better than those deriving from similar processes. Their high strength also renders the fibres suitable as natural reinforcement in composite materials. Secondly, the process makes it possible to use lignin as a natural textile dye.


The Ioncell-F process is based on the use of a so-called ionic liquid to dissolve cellulosic waste material without the addition of toxic chemicals and spin fibres for the production of textiles and garments. “We’re happy to see this environmentally-friendly process already attracting considerable interest, even though it is still in a developmental phase”, said Michael Hummel, Postdoctoral researcher at Aalto University.


The winner of the Information and Education category was the Literatura za Makulature (Literature for Paper for Recycling) project, submitted by a primary school in the Tychy region of Poland. In order to encourage children to get involved in paper recycling, the school invited famous Polish authors to meet its pupils, paying for their participation with money raised from selling the paper for recycling brought to school by the children. The initiative is unique not only in Tychy but in Poland.
In his speech ERPC Chairman Henri Vermeulen stressed the role of the recycling awards. “It is our pleasure to highlight and reward innovative paper recycling projects coming from education institutions. Initiatives like these prove that the paper industry is already the perfect example of a circular economy”, he added.


Five more entries were commended by the jury: Ecofolio for their project ‘The Modulated Eco-Contribution Scale’, Papierenkarton.nlz o.o. for their ‘Papier & Karton Educational Programme’ (Information and Education category); PTS Papiertechnische Stiftung for ‘Advanced treatment of recycled pulp by use of hydrodynamic cavitation pulses’, Alucha & SCA Hygiene Products for ‘REFILLS (Recovering of Energy and FILLers from Sludge)’ and Kadant International for ‘Polycup recycling at James Cropper speciality papers’ (Technology Improvement and R&D category).


Photos from the awards and presentations given by the winners are available at www.paperforrecycling.eu/recycling-awards. The next edition of the ERPC recycling awards will be organised in 2017. For more information, please contact the ERPC Secretariat, Ulrich Leberle, at +32 2 627 49 23, +32 479 90 59 21 or erpc@cepi.org.

 

News | 15 Oct.2015

Polish primary school and Finnish university win 2015 paper recycling awards

Yesterday, the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) announced the winners of the fifth European Paper Recycling awards. The well-attended ceremony took place at the European Parliament and was hosted by MEP Eva Kaili who is also head of the Greek S&D delegation.


The winner of the Technology Improvement and R&D category was Aalto University and VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland) with a new, innovative process for turning paper for recycling and cardboard into textile fibres called Ioncell-F.


Although producing textile fibres from cellulosic material is nothing new, the process submitted by Aalto University and VTT is innovative in two ways. Firstly, it allows for the production of fibres of quality equal or better than those deriving from similar processes. Their high strength also renders the fibres suitable as natural reinforcement in composite materials. Secondly, the process makes it possible to use lignin as a natural textile dye.

The winner of the Information and Education category was the Literatura za Makulature (Literature for Paper for Recycling) project, submitted by a primary school in the Tychy region of Poland. In order to encourage children to get involved in paper recycling, the school invited famous Polish authors to meet its pupils, paying for their participation with money raised from selling the paper for recycling brought to school by the children. The initiative is unique not only in Tychy but in Poland.


Five more entries were commended by the jury: Ecofolio for their project ‘The Modulated Eco-Contribution Scale’, Papierenkarton.nlz o.o. for their ‘Papier & Karton Educational Programme’ (Information and Education category); PTS Papiertechnische Stiftung for ‘Advanced treatment of recycled pulp by use of hydrodynamic cavitation pulses’, Alucha & SCA Hygiene Products for ‘REFILLS (Recovering of Energy and FILLers from Sludge)’ and Kadant International for ‘Polycup recycling at James Cropper speciality papers’ (Technology Improvement and R&D category).

More information:

  1. Press release announcing the winners
  2. Photos of the winners (more are coming soon!)
  3. Short description of the winners and commended entries



 

Position paper | 17 Aug.2015

CEPI's response to public consultation on the Circular Economy

CEPI replied to the European Commission's public consultation on the circular economy in July. 

Background (from the Commission website): In December 2014, the Commission announced the withdrawal of its legislative proposal for the review of waste legislation, to be replaced by a new, more ambitious, initiative for the promotion of the circular economy by the end of 2015.
This initiative aims at promoting the transition to the circular economy through a comprehensive, coherent approach that fully reflects interactions and interdependence along the whole value chain, rather than focusing exclusively on one part of the economic cycle. It will comprise a revised legislative proposal on waste and a Communication setting out an action plan on the circular economy for the rest of this Commission’s term of office. The action plan will cover the whole value chain, and focus on concrete measures with clear EU added value, aiming at ‘closing the loop’ of the circular economy. The circular economy initiative will also contribute to wider EU objectives such as the Energy Union, the climate objectives and resource efficiency.
 

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Press Release | 13 Jul.2015

European paper and beverage carton industries welcome European Parliament’s views on renewable and recyclable materials

European paper and beverage carton industries welcome European Parliament’s views on renewable and recyclable materials

On Thursday 9 July, the European Parliament gave a clear message to the European Commission to address crucial issues in an ambitious circular economy package. These include ending the landfill and incineration of recyclable waste, applying mandatory separate collection schemes and making the bio-economy an integral part of the circular economy.

The European paper and beverage carton industries have called upon the European Commission for a long time to support the industry’s efforts in further improving recycling, but also to extend the scope of the circular economy package from reducing waste to including measures that foster responsible sourcing of raw materials and particularly promote the use of responsibly sourced renewable materials.

Marco Mensink, CEPI Director General says: “The European Parliament has now given a clear mandate for making the bio-economy an integral part of the circular economy. Renewability is nature’s way of circularity, clearly recognized by MEPs in their vote.”

Bertil Heerink, ACE Director General adds: “A well-functioning circular economy will benefit from an increased use of renewable resources. We therefore welcome Thursday’s vote that underlines the importance of shifting from finite to renewable resources. We are looking forward to a constructive dialogue with the European Parliament on all topics related to the circular economy.”


Note to the Editor

CEPI aisbl - 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 940 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production.
For more information please visit: http://www.cepi.org/

ACE aisbl - The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment
ACE provides a European platform for beverage carton manufacturers Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and Elopak and their paperboard suppliers in Europe Stora Enso and BillerudKorsnäs to benchmark and profile cartons as renewable, recyclable and low carbon packaging solutions. Engaging with stakeholders and partners seeking high environmental stewardship, it contributes expertise to EU policy, legislation and standard‐setting.
For more information please visit: http://www.beveragecarton.eu

For further information please contact:
CEPI: ULRICH LEBERLE, RAW MATERIALS DIRECTOR
TEL +32 (0)2 627 49 23 • u.leberle@cepi.org
ACE: MAJA DRČA, POLICY AND COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT
TEL +32 (0)2 504 07 12 • maja.drca@beveragecarton.eu


 

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News | 08 May.2015

Global Forest and Paper Industry Releases Policy Statement on Paper Recycling

The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) released its policy statement on paper recycling. The statement was approved at the ICFPA’s annual meeting held on May 5th in Washington, D.C.

The full statement is available at http://www.icfpa.org/uploads/Modules/Publications/icfpa-statement-on-paper-recycling.pdf.

“Forest and paper associations around the world recognize the importance of paper recovery for recycling,” said outgoing ICFPA President Donna Harman. “With this policy statement, we are encouraging national governments to pursue best practices to enable recovered fiber to find its highest end-use.”

The global paper recycling rate stands at about 58%. Some developed countries have achieved as high as 70 to 75%. Many developing countries are establishing infrastructure to help improve paper recycling rates.

The statement calls for educating citizens on the importance of recycling, allowing the marketplace to determine recovered fiber’s best end-use, and ensuring functioning waste markets while respecting national contexts and systems. The ICFPA believes that extended producer responsibility (EPR) systems “should not be a preferred choice where existing markets for collections and reuse of recovered paper are efficient and effective.” Instead, improved sorting of waste should be prioritized to increase and ensure the quality of recovered fiber.

The ICFPA’s statement is the latest in a series of policy statements underwritten by its members associations. All ICFPA policy statements are available at icfpa.org/resource-centre/statements.

The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world. Together, ICFPA members represent over 90 percent of global paper production and half of global wood production.

For more information about the sustainability of the global forest and paper industry, visit icfpa.org.
 

News | 14 Apr.2015

5th European Paper Recycling Awards call for candidates is open!

The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) launched a call for candidates for the 2015 European Paper Recycling Awards. The awards will identify projects, initiatives and campaigns that contribute to Europe’s sustainability through activities supporting paper recycling. Winners will be announced at the official awards ceremony taking place at the European Parliament on 14 October.

Now in their fifth edition, the awards are open to all entities based in Europe, including schools and universities, NGOs, national and regional authorities, companies and associations.

Read the press release here.

To apply, please visit the ERPC website at www.paperforrecycling.eu

News | 16 Jan.2015

Henri Vermeulen takes on ERPC chairmanship

The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) has announced the appointment of Henri Vermeulen as chairman, taking over from Beatrice Klose (Intergraf). Mr Vermeulen is Vice President Paper for Recycling of the Smurfit Kappa Group and represents CEPI in the EPRC. His ERPC chairmanship began on 1 January 2015 and he will remain in this position until the end of 2016.

The ERPC was set up as an industry self-initiative in November 2000 to monitor the progress towards meeting the paper recycling targets set out in the 2000 European Declaration on Paper Recycling. In 2011, the ERPC committed itself to meeting and maintaining both the voluntary recycling 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.

Read the full press release on the ERPC website at: http://www.paperforrecycling.eu/newsmanager/96/79/Henri-Vermeulen-takes-on-ERPC-chairmanship/

For more information, please contact the ERPC Secretariat, Ulrich Leberle, at +32 2 627 49 23, erpc@cepi.org.

Position paper | 28 Nov.2014

CEPI welcomes Commission intentions for meaningful recycling in Europe and identifies enabling measures for meeting ambitious targets

UPDATE: The Commission has recently announced the withdrawal of the waste targets review and will publish a new proposal in the course of 2015.

Comments by CEPI on the European Commission proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Directives 2008/98/EC on waste, 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste, 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles, 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, and 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment /* COM/2014/0397 final - 2014/0201 (COD)

Summary

• Recycling Targets must be ambitious but realistic to increase collection in an environment where some Member States have already reached high recycling rates. Member States should set their target for paper packaging recycling at a minimum of 80% by 2020.
• Packaging Recycling targets in Europe should not discriminate between the different consumer packaging materials
• The proposed methodology to calculate recycling rates can favour high quality recycling but it should refer to material specific standards or similar quality assurances. For paper, the input method should continue to apply under strict input quality criteria, including for exports
• Incineration restrictions and separate paper collection obligations are needed as complementary measures to ensure recyclable paper diverted from landfills gets actually recycled.
• Final recycling must be clearly defined to ensure targets are meaningful and can be compared between Member States.

Recycling Targets: Minimum targets for Paper Packaging Recycling Rates should be set at 80% by 2020 in all Member States


European Paper Industry is a world champion in recycling, but reaching new targets will be increasingly challenging as several Member States have already reached recycling rates close to the theoretical potential of paper recycling. The average European Paper Recycling rate was 71,7% in 2013 and the sector has set a target of 70% recycling rate by 2015. The recycling rate has increased significantly from levels around 40% in 1990 and 62% in 2005, but has started levelling up since the last five years. As we reach the absolute potentials of paper recycling in some Member States, setting ambitious targets in all Member States is crucial to further stipulate recycling in less than average performing countries. Too ambitious average targets alone will however not be sufficient to reach the objectives set out in the circular economy communication. Further improvement of the paper and board packaging recycling rate will largely depend on progress in less than average performing countries. CEPI therefore proposes that all Member States set their target for paper packaging recycling at a minimum of 80% by 2020. Concrete targets for 2025 and 2030 should be set once the performance based on the proposed methodology and progress towards 2020 targets is assessed, e.g. through the newly proposed early warning system.
Recycling targets in Europe should not discriminate between consumer packaging materials and one material should not compensate for others in a Member State’s calculation of all packaging waste prepared for re-use and recycled. Recyclability and the recycling performance have increasingly become key aspects in the competition between consumer packaging materials.


Calculation Methodology : for paper, the input method should continue to apply under strict input quality criteria
CEPI welcomes the Commission’s intention to set the focus on high quality recycling. The recycling process can only deliver efficiently produced high quality recycled products if the input to this final recycling process fulfills strict quality requirements, too. The Commission proposal rightly distinguishes between final recycling processes with « clean » input material, for which the input method would continue to be applied, and final recycling processes with lesser quality material, for which the output method would have to be applied. CEPI understands the proposed discarded materials as non-target material that is not part of the original product and can be separated in dry sorting.
In the production of recycled paper, the input material for the recycling process is covered by a European Standard (EN 643). This standard sets limits on the share of non-paper components generally not exceeding 1,5%. CEPI is therefore of the opinion that for paper, the input method should continue to apply. However, the Commission proposal leaves too much room for interpretation and should refer to European Standards or similar quality assurances.
Paper for Recycling exported outside the European Union should count towards the recycling rate provided it meets the EN 643 standard and is effectively recycled outside Europe at broadly equivalent environmental conditions as in the EU. This should be demonstrated by a certification scheme as it is being considered by the European Commission and which would include in its scope the reprocessing site in the destination country and ensure traceability through adequate documentation.
Furthermore, it is of great importance that the denominator for the calculation of the recycling rates is identical in all Member States to allow for comparison.

Complementary measures to reach recycling targets
To reach high recycling targets based on the proposed new methodology, complementary measures next to the introduction of a landfill ban are however essential:


Incineration restrictions
CEPI welcomes the introduction of a landfill ban for recyclable waste. However, CEPI thinks that formulating a landfill ban for recyclable material and high recycling targets is not sufficient to reach the objectives. CEPI therefore thinks it is needed to formulate incineration restrictions for recyclable material from the municipal waste stream. This is to avoid waste is only shifted one step up in the waste hierarchy. In the past, several Member States have set the focus on diversion from landfill. This has partly led to low quality collection systems, which would not be able to deliver the input quality to recycling processes according to the new methodology as suggested bythe Commission proposal.

Obligation to collect paper separately from other recyclables and residual waste
To ensure reaching the required quality input for paper recycling processes, paper should be collected separately from other recyclables such as plastics, metal and glass, and from residual waste. The Waste Directive of 2008 has formulated a separate collection target in 2008, however Member States have interpreted this requirement in different ways. CEPI therefore urges the Commission to reinforce the requirement on separate collection for paper. Separate collection is crucial to achieve the landfill restrictions proposed by the commission.


Current recycling definition is too vague
The current definition of recycling is too vague, as it includes next to “reprocessing” also “any other recovery operations”. This leads to a wide range of interpretations, including on the recycling rate, between countries and materials. The only way to ensure material that has been discarded is effectively back in the circular economy is to make sure it is not recognized recycled unless it is reprocessed in a production process into new products, materials or substances that have comparable properties to the corresponding virgin raw materials. The proposed methodology for high quality recycling cannot be reached without a precise recycling definition. Article 3 (17) of directive 2008/98/EC should be amended as follows :


• ‘recycling’ means any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes. It includes the reprocessing of organic material but does not include energy recovery and the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling operations; ‘final recycling’ means reprocessing in a production process of waste or materials reclaimed from waste into products, materials or substances with similar properties as the equivalent virgin raw material based product, material or substance. It excludes pre-processing.


Next to these measures, CEPI has the following comments on the Commission proposal:
Extended Producer Responsibility : CEPI believes that the proposed provisions of Annex VII paragraph 6.1 and 6.4 place disproportionate financial burden on producers and cover aspects beyond the producers’ control. Putting the burden of « financial contributions to cover the entire cost of waste management… » would act as a disincentive for other actors with roles and responsibilities in the waste collection and sorting chain to focus on cost efficiency. Consequently the competitiveness of European economy would be harmed. CEPI believes that extended producer responsibility should not allow overlapping and duplicating payments: fees should only apply in absence of action when responsibility is delegated to compliance schemes, and fees should be charged on the basis of true cost after the deduction of all fees and revenues related to the waste generated. CEPI also believes Annex VII concerning minimum requirements for EPR should not be amended through the adoption of delegated acts since they are an essential part of the legislation.
Renewability : CEPI is concerned that the Commission published a proposal on the circular economy without mentioning renewability. CEPI believes that the contribution of renewable materials and products to the circular economy should be acknowledged, e.g. by adding renewability to the packaging eco-design options for Member States consideration. CEPI believes that such a non-binding list of ecodesign options is preferred over national packaging design requirements as proposed by the Commission as the latter would undermine the single market by producing barriers to trade.
Definition of Municipal Waste : The definition of municipal waste should not include material from the retail sector. The collection of waste from the retail sector is already well organised. Including the retail sector would divert the focus from the challenge of improving the waste collection from households and small shops.


For more information, please contact Ulrich Leberle at u.leberle@cepi.org, mobile +32 479 905 921

 

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Publication | 28 Nov.2014

Best practice specifications for tendering the collection of Paper for Recycling

The new EU directives on public procurement and concessions entered into force in April 2014. Public contracts that are covered by the European directives are valued at around €420 billion, making them a key driver of our economy.


The new rules are interesting for businesses, with the award criteria emphasising quality, environmental considerations, social aspects and innovation. They make it easier for small and medium-sized firms to bid and include tougher rules on subcontracting.


The adoption of the new directives on public procurement and concessions constitutes a large shift in procurement, as the new rules might open up new opportunities in the Single market. It is now up to all the users, including businesses, to take advantage of the new rules.


For paper recycling in particular, the change of the legal framework could help form a new tendering culture for waste collection in the member states. More specifically, the possibility to introduce criteria of the most economically-advantageous tender instead of the best price improves the functioning of the internal market. This new process gives the tendering authority the possibility to negotiate and incorporate elements that would otherwise be overlooked.


This Best Practice publication, as well as the free calculation tool for collection target benchmarking are examples of how national or regional competent authorities can all ensure that the new rules are put in practice and start contributing to a more transparent, efficient and professional public procurement. These elements are all vital in relaunching growth in the Single Market.

The brochure also exists in Italian.  Donwload it here

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Press Release | 28 Nov.2014

World Economic Forum Project on the Circular Economy to Include EcoDesign Pilot from CEPI

Paper will show the way for other materials in ecodesign

The World Economic Forum’s project on the circular economy (Project MainStream) has chosen the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) to contribute to one of the project’s three pilots for advancing circular thinking.

“An excellent track record, the right mindset of wanting to continuously raise the bar and world class knowledge in recycling were the reasons for which Project MainStream chose the CEPI pilot as a contibutor”, says Johnson Yeh, Head of Circular Economy Initiatives at the World Economic Forum.

The pilot’s objective is to consolidate existing pieces of design tools into a set of user-friendly, universal ecodesign rules for all value added elements of the paper and board value chain. The pilot, running from January 2015 for 12 months, intends to create a self-enforcing mechanism of speedy adoption of new ecodesign rules, thanks to commitments by businesses.

The World Economic Forum’s Project MainStream was launched in January this year, during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.The project will enable annual savings of up to $10bn for the value chain, according to World Economic Forum estimations.

“Paper is a perfect place for Project MainStream to start, given paper’s currently high recycling rate and complete infrastructure for recycling. By establishing proof-of-concept with ecodesign rules for paper, the same lesson can be applied to other materials,” says Yeh.

Although originally 100% recyclable, paper is converted by many downstream industries adding auxiliary materials, such as tapes, adhesives and printing inks. These materials will later return to paper recycling mills when closing the loop, as they cannot be sorted from paper in the dry-sorting steps before they reach paper mills. “Simple ecodesign rules for paper products would give the essential guidance for designers and developers without limiting innovation and hampering the introduction of new techniques. This would be a system-level approach, identifying the root cause and preventing problems”, says Jori Ringman, Sustainability Director at CEPI.

The goal of a circular economy is to move towards a resource efficient use of materials throughout the life cycle, beyond production and consumption. In a circular economy, collected waste and by-products become new raw materials. Whereas the European paper industry has already achieved very high recycling rates of 72%, a more systemic approach supported by ecodesign will allow further improvement of the performance in the sector. “Ecodesign could reduce the overall fibre need as well as improve the safe recycling of fibres, while improving opportunities for reusing water and by-streams of the paper and paperboard process in industrial symbiosis”, says Ringman.

The proposed project is also linked to other global sustainability initiatives, notably Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and to Sound Material Management (SMM) policies.

For more information, please contact Jori Ringman at j.ringman@cepi.org, mobile: +32 478 255 070.

Note to the Editor

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 940 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production.

Video on the circular economy by CEPI: http://youtu.be/lt3aHXs7FYM

Project MainStream is a collaboration led by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with McKinsey & Company as knowledge partners: http://www.weforum.org/projects/circular-economy


 

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