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Project identifies challenge gap in separate paper collection

Spain – Last week’s IMPACTPapeRec project conference in the Spanish city of Barcelona brought together representatives of the various elements of the paper value chain with the goal of promoting separate collection of paper for recycling and of avoiding landfilling/incineration, particularly in countries with a low recycling rate.

In the past year, project partners have exchanged views with paper collection decision-makers and mapped out current waste management systems in Europe. Mapping presented at the conference revealed major differences in challenges between countries with a well-established recycling system and those where such a system is still being implemented.

Also in Barcelona, experts spoke about the importance of quality of paper for recycling, efficiency of payment systems and incentives to encourage recycling, as well as the sensitive issue of informal paper collection outside officially-established waste management systems.

Furthermore, project partners presented some of the identified best practices, a number of which will undergo deeper analysis in the coming months and form part of a web-based ‘handbook’ offering practical guidance to help municipalities achieve better collection rates.

‘Paper collection is a multi-dimensional issue and finding a stand-alone solution is not possible,’ says Antonio Dobón, project co-ordinator from ITENE – an organisation which promotes scientific research, technological advancement, development of information society and promotion of sustainability in the packaging, logistics, transport and mobility sectors. ‘We are confident that the project will help us find the right ways to promote paper collection wherever we can.’

The IMPACTPapeRec project is financed by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and will end in January next year with a final conference in Brussels.

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