CEPI Decries EC Proposals on End-of-Waste Criteria

European paper association says changes will jeopardize Europe’s ability to maintain paper recycling rates.

September 17, 2013
RTGE Staff
Legislation & Regulations Paper

The Confederation of the European Paper Industry (CEPI) has expressed concern that the European Commission’s proposal on end-of-waste (EoW) criteria for paper 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.

In a statement, CEPI notes that in 2012, 71.7 percent of the paper consumed in Europe was recycled. However, the EC’s proposal threatens Europe’s ability to maintain its recycling rates for paper, let alone improve them, says the group.

The European Commission’s End-of-Waste (EoW) criteria for paper move the recycling and EoW point from its current location at the paper mill to an earlier stage in the collection. As a result of this move “recycled paper” will be unusable without further reprocessing, says CEPI.

As a result, 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, claims CEPI. Annually, this will mean 1 million metric tons of impurities such as plastic bags allowed by the Commission in Europe, CEPI adds.

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