Europe leads the world in paper recycling
A report by the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) reveals that Europe achieved an impressive paper recycling rate of 71.7% in 2012, the best in the world. According to the ERPC’s annual monitoring report for 2012, current paper consumption in Europe has dropped by 13% to the level in 1998, but the amount being recycled is 1.5 times higher. The ERPC describes it as a ‘remarkable achievement’. Read more…
The ERPC was set up as an industry initiative in November 2000 after the successful launch of the first European Declaration on Paper Recovery. It represents 15 sectors along the paper value chain and aims to monitor the progress made towards meeting recycling targets. Recycling is one of the key elements in the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe and is seen as greatly contributing to Europe’s sustainable growth.
The ERPC’s report shows that the number of countries in Europe with a paper recycling rate below 60% has decreased by two to 10 since 2011, with 13 countries exceeding 70%. Moreover, paper fibre is recycled an average of 3.5 times a year in Europe, compared to an average of 2.4 times in the rest of the world. However, the report also points out that changes to consumption patterns will make it challenging to maintain the current high rate of recycling.
The latest European Declaration on Paper Recycling 2011-2015 sets out specific measures to optimise the manufacture, collection and recycling of paper. To encourage recycling in Central Europe, a number of ERPC members are involved in EU-funded projects to improve collection systems. The ERPC will award innovative technology developments and information campaigns in paper recycling at the European Paper Recycling Awards, which take place on 2 October in the European Parliament.
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