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End-of-waste proposal for paper and board

EU – The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) – part of the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) – has presented a report containing its end-of-waste criteria recommendations for paper and cardboard.

The proposal recommends the conformation of waste paper to the specifications of any grade as represented by the European list of standard grades of paper products. According to the Spain-based institute, it cannot contain hazardous properties and, during its processing, it should not have been in contact with any other type of waste that may cause contamination. Furthermore, information should be provided about what the paper contains.
The JRC does not recommend end-of-waste criteria to be set for laminated paper such as found in beverage cartons and paper sacks, arguing that this often contains significant amounts of polymer and aluminium which would fall outside of the regulator’s control if included. Non-paper components should not exceed 1.5% by weight – excluding mineral fillers and starch which is seen as paper content.
According to the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), the lack of criteria for laminated packaging papers would create a need for their separate collection, thereby increasing recycling costs. Concerns over improper disposal or export of polymers and aluminium are unfounded because of their high value, it says.
The IPTS report is a contribution to the implementation of the end-of-waste concept in EU legislation, a mechanism introduced through the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC). The directive enshrines the possibility that, having undergone a recovery operation and fulfilling specified criteria, certain material streams can cease to be waste. The criteria for paper are expected to be adopted by the end of 2011.

The report can be downloaded below.

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