Fiber flows part of conference focus
Rotterdam will serve as host to a conference dedicated in part to the present and future state of Europe’s recovered fiber sector.
Photo by Brian Taylor.

Fiber flows part of conference focus

Sessions at November Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe in Rotterdam include several looking at the recovered fiber landscape.

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September 1, 2021

The Recycling Today Media Group is preparing to invite Europe’s paper and plastic scrap collectors, processors and traders to again gather in person at the 2021 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe. The two-day event is Nov. 16-17 at the Rotterdam Hilton in the Netherlands.

As it has every year since 2005 (with the exception of last year’s COVID-19 interrupted event), the European conference will offer an opportunity for recycling professionals in Europe and beyond to reacquaint themselves with trading contacts and make new ones.

Several portions of the program will be of specific interest to those in the recovered fiber sector, including a Tuesday, Nov. 16, session titled “The Paper Chain Within Europe (And Beyond).”

That afternoon session will include a presentation by United States-based industry consultant Bill Moore, who will offer an overview of where recovered fiber has been flowing globally in the wake of China’s increasingly strict treatment of old corrugated containers (OCC) and other imported grades.

Also taking the podium at that session will be Francisco Donoso, a veteran of the recovered fiber industry in Spain. He will provide his perspective on options for scrap paper collectors, packers and traders in that region.

The conference will open on Tuesday morning with a look at proposals and policies tied to the European Union’s Green Deal. Perspectives on opportunities and threats tied to this policy package will be provided by two industry veterans: Jean-Luc Petithuguenin of France-based Paprec Group and Dr. Andras Krawczik, who helps manage activity in the Netherlands for Germany-based Remondis.

Petithuguenin oversees one of the largest scrap paper collection and trading firms in France and serves on the Paper Division board of the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR). Krawczik, in addition to his duties with Remondis, is a board member of the Brussels-based European Waste Management Association (FEAD).

Many aspects of the Green Deal, including circular economy policies, are not final. However, some recyclers have expressed concern that export and trade restrictions may be embedded in it.

Trade will be the focus of another Tuesday session called “Walls and Bridges: Trade in the 2020s,” to be moderated by Simon Ellin of the United Kingdom-based The Recycling Association. The session will look at how governments around the world are crafting policies to protect and nurture constituent industries, sometimes while touting environmental benefits.

Panelists, including Marc Ehrlich of Switzerland-based global recovered fiber firm Vipa Group, will discuss in part where paper and plastic scrap is flowing as a result.

The sustainability aspects of packaging will be examined in yet another Tuesday session called “Sector Analysis: Packaging.” Offering the view of a paperboard manufacturer will be Jurgita Girzadiene, sustainability manager for Ireland-based Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG). That global containerboard producer has set sustainability targets related in part to its ability to operate recycled-content paperboard mills worldwide.

On Wednesday, the conference’s customary Mill Buyers’ Panel will return, hosted by Moore and featuring several end consumers of the scrap paper and board grades collected and packed in Europe.

The panel offers delegates insights into the plans, preferences, specifications and methods of paper mill owners and operators in Europe who are driving demand for recovered fiber on the continent.

More information on the 2021 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe event (in the near future to include how to register) can be found on this webpage.