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The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) launched a call for candidates for the 2015 European Paper Recycling Awards. The awards will identify projects, initiatives and campaigns that contribute to Europe’s sustainability through activities supporting paper recycling. Winners will be announced at the official awards ceremony taking place at the European Parliament on 14 October.
Now in their fifth edition, the awards are open to all entities based in Europe, including schools and universities, NGOs, national and regional authorities, companies and associations.
Read the press release here.
To apply, please visit the ERPC website at www.paperforrecycling.eu.
The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) has announced the appointment of Henri Vermeulen as chairman, taking over from Beatrice Klose (Intergraf). Mr Vermeulen is Vice President Paper for Recycling of the Smurfit Kappa Group and represents CEPI in the EPRC. His ERPC chairmanship began on 1 January 2015 and he will remain in this position until the end of 2016.
The ERPC was set up as an industry self-initiative in November 2000 to monitor the progress towards meeting the paper recycling targets set out in the 2000 European Declaration on Paper Recycling. In 2011, the ERPC committed itself to meeting and maintaining both the voluntary recycling target of 70% in the EU-27 plus Switzerland and Norway by 2015 as well as qualitative targets in areas such as waste prevention, ecodesign, and research and development.
Read the full press release on the ERPC website at: http://www.paperforrecycling.eu/newsmanager/96/79/Henri-Vermeulen-takes-on-ERPC-chairmanship/
For more information, please contact the ERPC Secretariat, Ulrich Leberle, at +32 2 627 49 23, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paper will show the way for other materials in ecodesign
The World Economic Forum’s project on the circular economy (Project MainStream) has chosen the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) to contribute to one of the project’s three pilots for advancing circular thinking.
“An excellent track record, the right mindset of wanting to continuously raise the bar and world class knowledge in recycling were the reasons for which Project MainStream chose the CEPI pilot as a contibutor”, says Johnson Yeh, Head of Circular Economy Initiatives at the World Economic Forum.
The pilot’s objective is to consolidate existing pieces of design tools into a set of user-friendly, universal ecodesign rules for all value added elements of the paper and board value chain. The pilot, running from January 2015 for 12 months, intends to create a self-enforcing mechanism of speedy adoption of new ecodesign rules, thanks to commitments by businesses.
The World Economic Forum’s Project MainStream was launched in January this year, during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.The project will enable annual savings of up to $10bn for the value chain, according to World Economic Forum estimations.
“Paper is a perfect place for Project MainStream to start, given paper’s currently high recycling rate and complete infrastructure for recycling. By establishing proof-of-concept with ecodesign rules for paper, the same lesson can be applied to other materials,” says Yeh.
Although originally 100% recyclable, paper is converted by many downstream industries adding auxiliary materials, such as tapes, adhesives and printing inks. These materials will later return to paper recycling mills when closing the loop, as they cannot be sorted from paper in the dry-sorting steps before they reach paper mills. “Simple ecodesign rules for paper products would give the essential guidance for designers and developers without limiting innovation and hampering the introduction of new techniques. This would be a system-level approach, identifying the root cause and preventing problems”, says Jori Ringman, Sustainability Director at CEPI.
The goal of a circular economy is to move towards a resource efficient use of materials throughout the life cycle, beyond production and consumption. In a circular economy, collected waste and by-products become new raw materials. Whereas the European paper industry has already achieved very high recycling rates of 72%, a more systemic approach supported by ecodesign will allow further improvement of the performance in the sector. “Ecodesign could reduce the overall fibre need as well as improve the safe recycling of fibres, while improving opportunities for reusing water and by-streams of the paper and paperboard process in industrial symbiosis”, says Ringman.
The proposed project is also linked to other global sustainability initiatives, notably Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and to Sound Material Management (SMM) policies.
For more information, please contact Jori Ringman at email@example.com, mobile: +32 478 255 070.
Note to the Editor
CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 515 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 940 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production.
Video on the circular economy by CEPI: http://youtu.be/lt3aHXs7FYM
Project MainStream is a collaboration led by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with McKinsey & Company as knowledge partners: http://www.weforum.org/projects/circular-economy
CEPI welcomes Commission intentions for meaningful recycling in Europe and identifies enabling measures for meeting ambitious targets
UPDATE: The Commission has recently announced the withdrawal of the waste targets review and will publish a new proposal in the course of 2015.
Comments by CEPI on the European Commission proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Directives 2008/98/EC on waste, 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste, 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles, 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, and 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment /* COM/2014/0397 final - 2014/0201 (COD)
• Recycling Targets must be ambitious but realistic to increase collection in an environment where some Member States have already reached high recycling rates. Member States should set their target for paper packaging recycling at a minimum of 80% by 2020.
• Packaging Recycling targets in Europe should not discriminate between the different consumer packaging materials
• The proposed methodology to calculate recycling rates can favour high quality recycling but it should refer to material specific standards or similar quality assurances. For paper, the input method should continue to apply under strict input quality criteria, including for exports
• Incineration restrictions and separate paper collection obligations are needed as complementary measures to ensure recyclable paper diverted from landfills gets actually recycled.
• Final recycling must be clearly defined to ensure targets are meaningful and can be compared between Member States.
Recycling Targets: Minimum targets for Paper Packaging Recycling Rates should be set at 80% by 2020 in all Member States
European Paper Industry is a world champion in recycling, but reaching new targets will be increasingly challenging as several Member States have already reached recycling rates close to the theoretical potential of paper recycling. The average European Paper Recycling rate was 71,7% in 2013 and the sector has set a target of 70% recycling rate by 2015. The recycling rate has increased significantly from levels around 40% in 1990 and 62% in 2005, but has started levelling up since the last five years. As we reach the absolute potentials of paper recycling in some Member States, setting ambitious targets in all Member States is crucial to further stipulate recycling in less than average performing countries. Too ambitious average targets alone will however not be sufficient to reach the objectives set out in the circular economy communication. Further improvement of the paper and board packaging recycling rate will largely depend on progress in less than average performing countries. CEPI therefore proposes that all Member States set their target for paper packaging recycling at a minimum of 80% by 2020. Concrete targets for 2025 and 2030 should be set once the performance based on the proposed methodology and progress towards 2020 targets is assessed, e.g. through the newly proposed early warning system.
Recycling targets in Europe should not discriminate between consumer packaging materials and one material should not compensate for others in a Member State’s calculation of all packaging waste prepared for re-use and recycled. Recyclability and the recycling performance have increasingly become key aspects in the competition between consumer packaging materials.
Calculation Methodology : for paper, the input method should continue to apply under strict input quality criteria
CEPI welcomes the Commission’s intention to set the focus on high quality recycling. The recycling process can only deliver efficiently produced high quality recycled products if the input to this final recycling process fulfills strict quality requirements, too. The Commission proposal rightly distinguishes between final recycling processes with « clean » input material, for which the input method would continue to be applied, and final recycling processes with lesser quality material, for which the output method would have to be applied. CEPI understands the proposed discarded materials as non-target material that is not part of the original product and can be separated in dry sorting.
In the production of recycled paper, the input material for the recycling process is covered by a European Standard (EN 643). This standard sets limits on the share of non-paper components generally not exceeding 1,5%. CEPI is therefore of the opinion that for paper, the input method should continue to apply. However, the Commission proposal leaves too much room for interpretation and should refer to European Standards or similar quality assurances.
Paper for Recycling exported outside the European Union should count towards the recycling rate provided it meets the EN 643 standard and is effectively recycled outside Europe at broadly equivalent environmental conditions as in the EU. This should be demonstrated by a certification scheme as it is being considered by the European Commission and which would include in its scope the reprocessing site in the destination country and ensure traceability through adequate documentation.
Furthermore, it is of great importance that the denominator for the calculation of the recycling rates is identical in all Member States to allow for comparison.
Complementary measures to reach recycling targets
To reach high recycling targets based on the proposed new methodology, complementary measures next to the introduction of a landfill ban are however essential:
CEPI welcomes the introduction of a landfill ban for recyclable waste. However, CEPI thinks that formulating a landfill ban for recyclable material and high recycling targets is not sufficient to reach the objectives. CEPI therefore thinks it is needed to formulate incineration restrictions for recyclable material from the municipal waste stream. This is to avoid waste is only shifted one step up in the waste hierarchy. In the past, several Member States have set the focus on diversion from landfill. This has partly led to low quality collection systems, which would not be able to deliver the input quality to recycling processes according to the new methodology as suggested bythe Commission proposal.
Obligation to collect paper separately from other recyclables and residual waste
To ensure reaching the required quality input for paper recycling processes, paper should be collected separately from other recyclables such as plastics, metal and glass, and from residual waste. The Waste Directive of 2008 has formulated a separate collection target in 2008, however Member States have interpreted this requirement in different ways. CEPI therefore urges the Commission to reinforce the requirement on separate collection for paper. Separate collection is crucial to achieve the landfill restrictions proposed by the commission.
Current recycling definition is too vague
The current definition of recycling is too vague, as it includes next to “reprocessing” also “any other recovery operations”. This leads to a wide range of interpretations, including on the recycling rate, between countries and materials. The only way to ensure material that has been discarded is effectively back in the circular economy is to make sure it is not recognized recycled unless it is reprocessed in a production process into new products, materials or substances that have comparable properties to the corresponding virgin raw materials. The proposed methodology for high quality recycling cannot be reached without a precise recycling definition. Article 3 (17) of directive 2008/98/EC should be amended as follows :
• ‘recycling’ means any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes. It includes the reprocessing of organic material but does not include energy recovery and the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling operations; ‘final recycling’ means reprocessing in a production process of waste or materials reclaimed from waste into products, materials or substances with similar properties as the equivalent virgin raw material based product, material or substance. It excludes pre-processing.
Next to these measures, CEPI has the following comments on the Commission proposal:
Extended Producer Responsibility : CEPI believes that the proposed provisions of Annex VII paragraph 6.1 and 6.4 place disproportionate financial burden on producers and cover aspects beyond the producers’ control. Putting the burden of « financial contributions to cover the entire cost of waste management… » would act as a disincentive for other actors with roles and responsibilities in the waste collection and sorting chain to focus on cost efficiency. Consequently the competitiveness of European economy would be harmed. CEPI believes that extended producer responsibility should not allow overlapping and duplicating payments: fees should only apply in absence of action when responsibility is delegated to compliance schemes, and fees should be charged on the basis of true cost after the deduction of all fees and revenues related to the waste generated. CEPI also believes Annex VII concerning minimum requirements for EPR should not be amended through the adoption of delegated acts since they are an essential part of the legislation.
Renewability : CEPI is concerned that the Commission published a proposal on the circular economy without mentioning renewability. CEPI believes that the contribution of renewable materials and products to the circular economy should be acknowledged, e.g. by adding renewability to the packaging eco-design options for Member States consideration. CEPI believes that such a non-binding list of ecodesign options is preferred over national packaging design requirements as proposed by the Commission as the latter would undermine the single market by producing barriers to trade.
Definition of Municipal Waste : The definition of municipal waste should not include material from the retail sector. The collection of waste from the retail sector is already well organised. Including the retail sector would divert the focus from the challenge of improving the waste collection from households and small shops.
For more information, please contact Ulrich Leberle at firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile +32 479 905 921
The new EU directives on public procurement and concessions entered into force in April 2014. Public contracts that are covered by the European directives are valued at around €420 billion, making them a key driver of our economy.
The new rules are interesting for businesses, with the award criteria emphasising quality, environmental considerations, social aspects and innovation. They make it easier for small and medium-sized firms to bid and include tougher rules on subcontracting.
The adoption of the new directives on public procurement and concessions constitutes a large shift in procurement, as the new rules might open up new opportunities in the Single market. It is now up to all the users, including businesses, to take advantage of the new rules.
For paper recycling in particular, the change of the legal framework could help form a new tendering culture for waste collection in the member states. More specifically, the possibility to introduce criteria of the most economically-advantageous tender instead of the best price improves the functioning of the internal market. This new process gives the tendering authority the possibility to negotiate and incorporate elements that would otherwise be overlooked.
This Best Practice publication, as well as the free calculation tool for collection target benchmarking are examples of how national or regional competent authorities can all ensure that the new rules are put in practice and start contributing to a more transparent, efficient and professional public procurement. These elements are all vital in relaunching growth in the Single Market.
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