The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) has surpassed its goal of raising the European recycling rate for recovered paper to 70 per cent by 2015. The organisation reported a 71.5 per cent rate for last year in its monitoring report published in Brussels on 20 October. The ERPC said that collection and recycling had increased by almost one million tonnes compared with 2010, the first year of the five-year voluntary commitment.
The amount of paper recycled in the countries covered by the commitment – the 28 EU member states plus Sweden and Norway – reached 59 million tonnes at a year-on-year growth rate of 1.5 per cent, according to the ERPC's monitoring report. Some 9.4 million tonnes net (16 per cent) were bought for recycling by third countries, notably by China.
The European Declaration on Paper Recycling was launched by European umbrella organisations representing the paper industry (CEPI) and paper recyclers (ERPA) in 2000 and has since been renewed twice with new targets for the subsequent five-year periods. As part of the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC), which monitors implementation, 13 European associations have signed the voluntary commitment. Herni Vermeulen, the ERPC's chairman, described the council's activities as "perfectly complementing" the EU circular economy policy. "The paper fibre loop can serve as the perfect model for circularity," he remarked.
The full report appears in the print and e-versions of EUWID Recycling & Waste Management no. 22/2016 published on 26 October.