EnEWA research project with LEIPA participation receives European Paper Recycling Council Award; project partners developing treatment process that leads paper from light packaging, residual and commercial waste value chains back into recycling loop

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July 25, 2022 (press release) –

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To produce new paper, one ingredient is particularly important: waste paper. However, around one fifth of paper waste does not end up in the recycling loop. The EnEWA research project with LEIPA participation aims to recover this paper from mixed waste streams and thus increase energy efficiency and sustainability in the industry.

In the past decades, paper producers have already been able to reduce their energy consumption - for example, by technically optimizing plants or achieving significantly lower energy requirements in the reprocessing of recovered paper. Today, recovered paper is a very important basis for the production of new paper. However, around 20 percent of the paper produced is currently not returned to the recycling loop. This is where the EnEWA research project comes in.

Prize-worthy idea for the future of paper recycling

In EnEWA, the project partners are developing a solution for recovering and recycling recovered paper from the light packaging, residual waste and commercial waste value chains. The project has now received an award in Brussels from the European Paper Recycling Council (EPRC) in the category "Innovative Technologies and Research & Development". The researchers accepted the award in Brussels at the end of June.

The aim in EnEWA is to develop a treatment process that leads the paper from the aforementioned value chains back into the recycling loop. This process includes a dry mechanical sorting, defibration and disinfection process. If the recovered paper is recycled and integrated into the sustainable circular economy, this can potentially save around 300,000 tons of CO2 per year.

In EnEWA, the researchers want to generate new knowledge that can be used to further develop the minimum standards for packaging recycling in the future.

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