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ERPC recognises top achievers in paper recycling

Europe – The European Recovered Paper Council has given its recognition to the most innovative paper recycling projects at the third annual European Paper Recycling Awards, presented at the European Parliament in Brussels.

The two winners in the Technology Improvement & R&D category were PALWaste Recycling’s ProjectCLEAN and New Possibilities for Process Control, from PTS.
ProjectCLEAN was set up with the sole purpose of finding a processing solution for an omnipresent waste stream that has previously gone unrecycled – plastic-aluminium laminates. Stora Enso Barcelona and the engineering firm Alucha saw the problem of recycling laminated beverage cartons early on and in 2005 set up PALWaste as a joint company. From this emerged ProjectCLEAN, which aimed to use jointly developed technology to build and operate Europe’s first facility for fully recycling this troublesome material.

The PTS research project for the first time used online NIR measurement to determine several important qualitative parameters for recovered paper in the paper mill, allowing changes in composition to be observed at a level that has not been possible before.
Measurements are taken across the entire conveyor belt at 40 mm intervals, which means that the complete recovered paper stream can be analysed rather than the random sampling that is typical of existing manual and visual methods. This should improve the consistency and operating economy of the deinking process, and ultimately enhance product quality.

In the Information & Education category, Smurfit Kappa was rewarded for a project called Be Part of Birmingham’s Paper Chain. This was the result of a close working partnership between Smurfit Kappa Recycling and Birmingham City Council for many years under the Waste and Recycling Action Programme (WRAP).
Since 1993, the amount of paper recovered from the waste stream for recycling has increased from 750 tonnes per year to around 40 000 tonnes. The project is innovative because the partnership works beyond the day-to-day level to provide information jointly to consumers.
Birmingham reached its target recycling rate of 32% in 2010-11 and collected 73.5 kg of paper per household, compared to the UK average of 53.62 kg for other cities. Since October 2010, the Recycling Liaison Officer has visited 27 community groups and 80 schools. This led to increased recycling in the schools, with 13 of them starting to recycle for the first time.

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