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Separate collections more vital than ever

Belgium – ‘Separate collection for high-quality recycling is particularly important in light of China’s waste import ban,’ it has been insisted by Kestutis Sadauskas, director in charge of circular economy and green growth at the European Commission.

He was speaking at a final conference in Brussels for the IMPACTPapeRec project, launched almost two years ago with the aim of boosting separate collection of paper for recycling and promoting appropriate schemes to avoid landfilling and incineration. The event attracted more than 80 professionals from the waste management and paper industry, as well as policy-makers and municipalities.

Financed by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, IMPACTPapeRec brought together 19 partners from several European countries, including those with low recycling rates such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, offering them ‘a unique platform’ to find ways to increase separate collection.

Sylvain Lhôte, director general of the Confederation of European Paper Industries, underlined the need for collection systems to take into account the EN 643 standard covering grades of paper and board for recycling.

‘In the fight against climate change, we only have a window of a few years to optimise waste management and recycling everywhere in Europe,’ he argued in the Belgian capital.

Several participants applauded the practical tools that had emerged from the project, in particular the ‘Good and best practices handbook for the collection of paper and board for recycling’ which provides municipalities with practical tools and guidance to help improve collections.

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