EU paper association endorses direction of recycling target legislation.
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) says it “welcomes the adoption of the new directive on waste management and processing adopted by the European Parliament as it underlines the importance of recycling and will increase the efficiency of recycling in Europe.”
European Union lawmakers in Strasbourg, France, approved the new targets for recycling in mid-June, favoring a goal of recycling or re-using half of household materials by 2020 and 70 percent of construction and demolition materials.
According to a Reuters report, more than 1.8 billion tonnes of potentially recyclable waste is generated each year in Europe, equating to 3.5 tonnes per person. Currently, less than a third of that is recycled.
The European paper industry, through the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC), has committed to meet a voluntary recycling rate target for paper of 66 percent (in the EU 27 nations plus Switzerland and Norway) by 2010.
In its news release, CEPI says the industry “is pleased to see the first apparition of recycling targets in the waste directive, including the 50 percent by 2020 for paper along with other waste streams.”
“The new text does not go as far as our own commitment but it is a very good step in the right direction,” says Jori Ringman, CEPI Recycling & Product Director. “Europe will only reach its goal of becoming a recycling society if modern legislation facilitates it with well-written definitions and the European paper industry is an example of how high levels of sustainable recycling can be achieved.”
He adds, “The directive also confirms the implementation of the principle of a five-tier hierarchy (prevention, re-use, recycling, recovery and elimination), which we totally support.”
CEPI says that in 2006, more than 58 million tonnes of recovered paper in Europe was collected for recycling. More information on the group can be found at www.cepi.org.