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ICFPA urges fibre separation at source

Global – National governments should ‘pursue best practices to enable recovered fibre to find its highest end-use’, according to Donna Harman, outgoing president of the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) which unites bodies from 43 countries and represents approximately 90% of world paper production.

Her comment follows the release of an ICFPA policy statement on paper recycling which calls on governments to: educate citizens about the importance of recycling; provide consistent rules of law so that contracts between waste collectors and buyers will be respected and certain; support the burning of recovered fibre only when it is not practical for recovery or no longer capable of being used in new product; and encourage separation at source from other recyclable materials and from wet/organic solid waste to reduce sorting costs and help ensure a high-quality stream of recovered fibre.

Governments are also urged to ‘avoid artificial mandates or subsidies that direct the flow of recovered fibre to a specific product, or make distinctions between type of recovered fibre used in manufacturing’, with the ICFPA adding that ‘the marketplace is more efficient than governments in determining the highest and best use of the recovered fibre’.

The ICFPA policy statement contends that extended producer responsibility systems ‘should not be a preferred choice where existing markets for collection and reuse of recovered paper are efficient and effective’. It adds: ‘In places where voluntary, industry-based programmes are yielding good success in reaching targets for paper recovery and diversion from landfills, government should avoid interference.’

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