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Wood, Paper, Printing

Environmental issues in the forest-based industries

Recycling logo with a tree © FUJIO -

Environmental issues, together with energy and climate change, are key priorities for forest-based industries. EU legislation helps the industry to become more eco-friendly.

Forest biodiversity, Natura 2000, sustainable management and illegal logging are major concerns at the beginning of the chain (fresh fibre).

Additionally, Directive 2008/1/EC on integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) is very important for the manufacturing process. Several plants from the printing, woodworking and pulp and paper sectors are included in the scope of this Directive. IPPC installations must have an IPPC permit to operate, which must stipulate emission limit values based on the best available techniques for preventing or reducing airborne, water and land-based emissions, including measures on waste. The BREFs (reference documents for 'best available techniques') outline the most suited techniques for the different sectors.

Forest-based industries are also affected by REACH as downstream users of chemical products, importers of chemicals and articles and producers of substances such as pulp.

With increased pressure on primary raw materials, the use of recovered raw materials is continuously on the rise. More efficient collection, promoted by public authorities, will also strengthen the development of more economically efficient and environmentally-friendly activities and contribute to strengthening EU competitiveness in this field.

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