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Spotlight on Europe’s recycling future at Rotterdam conference

Ever-stricter scrap trade rules and corporate sustainability goals for recovered paper and plastics flows within and from Europe will be among the main topics to be addressed at the Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on 15-16 November. You can still register for the event.

The opening session will feature speakers from two Brussels-based organisations on the front lines of the recycling challenges: the European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) and the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI).

FEAD, which will be represented by board member Dr. Andreas Krawczik of Remondis Netherlands, has weighed in on numerous EU recycling related policies including those affecting plastic scrap trading, the collection of policies known as the Green Deal, and aggressive targets for plastic recycling.

Waste or no waste?

On the trade front, exports to countries that are not members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are scheduled to require pre-registration of those receiving scrap materials. The policy has been met with great concern from processors and traders of scrap paper and metal, with recyclers arguing such materials should not be regulated as ‘waste’.

Providing additional context on the paper and board side will be CEPI’s raw materials director Ulrich Leberle. ‘There has been strong investment in recycling capacities in Europe and there is a strong environmental consciousness among people,’ Leberle told a CEPI online event earlier this year.

Market supply and demand fundamentals will be another topic of discussion. Also providing positive news in Europe is the apparent ongoing commitment by corporations to emphasise sustainability programmes that include attention to recycling and the use of recycled content in new products.

Recycling prospects

The session following the keynote speech will feature a panel focused on how sustainability is boosting recycling’s prospects. One member of the panel will be Jurgita Girzadiene, sustainability manager for Ireland-based paper and board producer Smurfit Kappa. Her firm has sought and received sustainability recognition from e-commerce giant Amazon and a packaging awards programme.

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