ERPC Reports European Paper Recycling Rate

Group notes that 13 European Union Countries top the 70 percent paper recycling rate.

October 22, 2012
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Paper

The European Recovered Paper Council, based in Brussels, Belgium,  has reported that the European paper recycling rate reached 70.4 percent in 2011. According to the association’s annual monitoring report, the total amount of paper collected and recycled in the paper sector remains stable at 58 million metric tons, the same as in the previous years, but with an increase of 18 million metric tons since 1998, the base year for the first voluntary commitment the paper value chain set itself for increasing recycling in Europe. The EPRC says that since 2000 the recycling rate increased by 18 percent due in part to its work.

A new reporting format includes more indicators in addition to the volumes and recycling rate. For example, the number of European countries topping a 70 percent paper recycling rate stands at 13. The report finds that 12 EU countries still have recycling rates that are less than 60 percent for paper, indicating further potential for increasing paper recycling in Europe.

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