European paper recycling rate in 2011 at 70.4%: European Recovered Paper Council; total amount of paper collected, recycled in paper sector remains stable at 58 million tonnes, up from 18 million tonnes since 1998

Sandy Yang

Sandy Yang

BRUSSELS , October 12, 2012 (press release) – The European paper recycling rate reached an impressive 70.4% as announced today by the ERPC (European Recovered Paper Council) in their annual monitoring report. The report shows that the total amount of paper collected and recycled in the paper sector remains stable at 58 million tonnes, the same as in the previous years, but with an increase of 18 million tonnes since 1998, the base year for the first voluntary commitment the paper value chain set itself for increasing recycling in Europe. Since 2000 the recycling rate has increased by 18%-points due in part to the excellent work of the ERPC.

A new reporting format includes more indicators in addition to the volumes and recycling rate. For example, the number of European countries exceeding a 70% recycling rate going up to 13, whereas 12 EU countries still have under 60% recycling rates for paper, indicating further potential for increasing paper recycling in Europe. The number of cycles a paper fibre goes through in the loop reached, on average, 3.4 (compared to the global average of 2.4).

In addition to the quantitative progress, a lot of qualitative work has been done to establish an ecodesign towards improved recyclability and in the area of waste prevention. The results include pioneering work to give recycling solid and scientific support, such as the adoption of scorecards to assess the recyclability of paper-based products.

Notes to Editor:

• 2011 ERPC Monitoring Report:

• The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) was set up after the successful launch of the first ‘European Declaration on Paper Recovery’ as an industry own-initiative in November 2000 with the aim to monitor the progress made towards meeting the targets set out in the European Declaration. In 2011 the industry committed itself to meet and maintain a voluntary recycling rate target of 70% in EU 27 plus Switzerland and Norway by 2010, which is higher than in any other region in the world, and qualitative targets in areas such as waste prevention, ecodesign, and research and development. ERPC monitors the progress of the European Declaration openly and transparently and coordinates the joint work to achieve the set targets. Additionally, ERPC

o coordinates the commitments of all the Signatories and Supporters.

o takes steps to improve the quality of the information available.

o discusses all relevant matters regarding the successful operation of the European Declaration.

o coordinates public information on the achievements of the European Declaration.

o produces annual reports.

• Members of ERPC are CEPI, CITPA, ERPA, ETS, INGEDE, INTERGRAF, FEPE. Supporters include the EASDP, EuPIA, FEICA, FINAT, RADTECH Europe. The European Commission, DG Environment and DG Enterprise, are permanent observers of the ERPC.

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