RTE supports Europe’s most ambitious paper recycling target  

Europe is already the global champion in printed paper and board deinking and recycling with a regional rate of 55.4%, higher than either Asia or America, but today the industries along the paper value chain raised the bar with the launch of the ‘European Declaration on Recycling’ and an ambitious new target.

A total of 46.6 million tonnes of paper and board were recycled in Europe in 2005 and more than half of the paper used in Europe today is now made from recovered paper. Deinking and Recycling is now not only a significant part of the paper manufacturing process in Europe but a large industry in its own right, with links to a number of sectors in the European economy. Those sectors have now joined forces with the common goal of further increasing Europe’s recycling rate to 66% by 2010. The new target would mean that some two tonnes of paper is recycled each second inEurope.

Building on the successful initiative of the ‘European Declaration on Recovered Paper’ launched in 2000, which was responsible for pushing Europe’s recycling rate to 55.4%, the new Declaration covers more European countries, more European organisations and has even greater ambition.  

12 Different sectors: CEPI, CITPA, ERPA, ETS, INGEDE, INTERGRAF, ENPA, EuPIA, FAEP, FEICA, FINAT, RADTECH EUROPE  have pledged their support for the Declaration, which covers all paper and board products and which aims to make sure that all of the correct systems are in place to push European paper recycling even higher. The Declaration focuses on complementary actions by all of the sectors involved, and gives priority to the prevention of waste, improving the deinking and recyclability of printed paper and board products, as well as further improving the quality of recovered paper available for recycling.

In practice, the objectives of the Declaration will translate into groundbreaking research and development also in UV / EB printed paper and board deinking and recycling technology, significant investments in new capacities, a focus on quality and responsible sourcing, and on raising public awareness. 

Dr Kevin Bradley, President of the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC), commented:

“Paper and board already boast the highest recovery and recycling rates of materials in Europe. Even so, we are striving to do better. The sectors involved in this declaration have committed themselves to closer cooperation and complementary actions that will help us reach our target of 66%. Industry has an important role to play in bringing Europe closer to the European Commission's goal of a 'recycling economy', supporting Europe's sustainable development and long-term, robust growth and employment.”

The 'European Declaration on Paper Recycling' has now been translated into German, French, Spanish and Dutch! You can download each version on www.paperrecovery.eu under 'Publications'.