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26 Mar.2020

EPRC PRESS RELEASE: Collection and recycling of used paper more important than ever in times of health crisis

The Covid-19 sanitary crisis is unprecedented. The industry associations supporting the European Paper Recycling Council (EPRC) are saddened to see that so many people have lost their lives due to the pandemic. The lockdown measures taken to slow down contamination are deeply impacting our lives as well as business operations. 

The paper value chain committed to keep its operations to deliver all essential paper products, such as hygiene products, packaging for food or pharmaceuticals while taking all necessary measures to protect workers, suppliers and customers.

The EPRC asks all authorities to enable crucial industries such as paper to continue production and to facilitate transport and cross border shipments for the supply of these goods. "In these critical times, it is more than ever important to keep the supply for our industry running, in order to secure packaging for essential products” said Angelika Christ, chairwoman of the EPRC.

The new circular economy action plan recently published by the European Commission recognizes separate collection as a prerequisite for the circular economy. With a recycling rate of 71,9% and even 84,6% in packaging, the paper and board value chain depends on paper for recycling.

Separate collection of paper for recycling from households and supermarkets, but also its sorting and transport to paper mills are an essential part of this supply chain.

Recently, individual cities in some Member States  have announced they might have to reduce separate collections or close sorting centers due to the current crisis.

People’s health must be the first priority along with supplying our society with essential goods for everyday life.

Cepi, the Confederation of European Paper Industries is hosting the EPRC secretariat.

For further information please contact Ulrich Leberle at u.leberle@cepi.org or +32 479 905 921.

Note to editor:

The European Paper Recycling Council (EPRC) was set up as an industry self-initiative in November 2000 to monitor progress towards meeting the paper recycling targets set out in the 2000 European Declaration on Paper Recycling. Since then the commitments in the Declaration are renewed every five years. In 2017 the EPRC committed itself to meeting and maintaining both a voluntary recycling rate target of 74% in the EU27 plus Switzerland and Norway by 2020 as well as qualitative targets in areas such as waste prevention, ecodesign and research and development. In 2017, Members of the ERPC are ACE, CEPI, CITPA, EMFA, ETS, FEPE, INGEDE and INTERGRAF. Supporters are Afera, EuPIA, FINAT, FEICA and RadTECH Europe. DG Environment and DG Grow of the European Commission are permanent observers to the EPRC.

 

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25 Mar.2020

Cepi Press Statement - European pulp and paper sector maintains essential operations to help EU citizens tackle the COVID-19 pandemic

Cepi, the European paper industry association, and its members across Europe are shocked and saddened by the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacting people globally and in Europe, with a growing number of lives lost. 

We have taken the situation very seriously and implemented all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of our people: employees, transport operators and customers.

Our main priority now is to ensure that EU citizens can access the products that they desperately need for hygiene, health and food purposes in the current lockdown context.

For that reason, we are relentlessly working with other industries in our value-chain to operate as much in a “business as usual” mode as possible and guarantee security of supply to our fellow Europeans.

Our tissue and hygiene products are of vital importance to citizens, particularly to implement the recommendations issued by national governments and the World Health Organization (WHO): frequent hand washing and proper hand drying is vital. Tissue offers the safest option.

Our fibre-based packaging is also essential to transport and deliver all types of food and pharmaceutical supplies such as medicines in protective packaging.  

We depend on the quick availability of fibres from recycled paper to manufacture our packaging. Therefore we call on local communities to help us serving them, by ensuring that the collection of paper and board continues smoothly during the crisis. Otherwise, it would create a shortage of raw material within weeks and force us to stop our production.

We also have the obligation to ensure the timely and safe delivery of essential goods to our communities.  Many of our companies are currently struggling due to extra border control checks and related delays within Europe due to lack of container capacity after the closure of China’s harbours. We need support to avoid delays in deliveries of these key supplies.

For all these reasons, we have been calling for our sector (NACE code 17) to be recognised as an essential supplier in several critical European value chains and to be eligible for state aids to ensure continuity of vital supplies to the society during the health crisis and facilitate a sustainable recovery of the European economy after we overcome the health crisis.

We expect the Corona virus to prompt many changes in the way businesses are operated and society is organised.  We call the European Commission to review the recently adopted Industrial Strategy in the light of the changes to ensure it remains valid and a strong policy for the new industrial realities. 

Solidarity has to come first; we will strongly support the work of the EU institutions and national governments with our reiterated commitment to invest in Europe and for maintaining European jobs in the next 5 years.

Jori Ringman

Director General

Cepi, Confederation of European Paper Industries

 

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07 Feb.2020

Jori Ringman: "Cepi will play a key role in reaching carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050"

Interview to Jori Ringman in the French Magazine la papeterie by ENP Publishing.

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