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EU paper recycling beats target in exceeding 70%

Europe – Europe’€™s paper recycling rate climbed to 70.4% last year, the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) has revealed in its latest annual monitoring report.

The 2011 figure compares to 68.9% achieved in the previous year – which was already above the 66% target voluntarily set by the paper industry for that year – and exceeds the higher 70% objective established for between 2011 and 2015.

The report shows that the total amount of paper collected and recycled has remained stable at around 58 million tonnes, although this figure constitutes an increase of 18 million tonnes since 1998 – the base year for the first voluntary commitment agreed by the paper value chain for increasing recycling in Europe.

According to both the ERPC and the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), up to a further 10 million tonnes could be recycled in Europe. ‘€˜The biggest potential could be unlocked in Eastern Europe, for instance Poland, where much progress can still be achieved,’€™ CEPI’€™s Director Recycling, Products, Environment, Jori Ringman has told ENDS.

Considering that a dozen EU countries still have recycling rates below 60% and the sector would benefit greatly from harmonisation – especially in terms of collection targets as these would require ‘€˜lagging countries’€™ to improve their performance, he believes.

To read the entire report, visit:

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