European Paper Industry Fights EC Proposal on Paper Recycling

The Confederation of the European Paper Industry (CEPI), based in Brussels, Belgium, announced it is representing the European paper industry to organize action against the European Commission’s (EC’s) proposal on end-of-waste (EoW) criteria for paper. CEPI noted the proposal “fails to address the objectives of increasing the quality and availability of paper for recycling and will have an adverse impact on making Europe a resource efficient recycling society.”

The ED’s proposal would move the task of sorting other waste materials (plastic bags, bottles, wood, metal, and other impurities) from waste collection to the paper mills for processing prior to repulping.

According to CEPI, 71.7% of the paper consumed in Europe was recycled and the proposal of the commission “threatens Europe’s ability to maintain its recycling rates for paper.” Also, the Confederation believes recycled paper will be unusable without further reprocessing under the impact of the proposal. CEPI said “the European paper industry fears the new legislation risks a lower quality of paper for recycling and poses a threat to current high levels of paper recycling. The amount of impurities in the output of end-of-waste would be 15,000 times higher than they are at this moment.”

“With this proposal, the European Commission will be exporting pollution to the poor and importing unemployment to Europe. It all works against the idea of the EU becoming a resource-efficient recycling society as well as against the re-industrialization of Europe,” commented Jori Ringman, CEPI’s Recycling and Environment Director.

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