5 December 2011
Launch of the European Declaration on Paper Recycling

Ulrich Höke, ERPC chairman, and Soledad Blanco, Director at the European Commission, DG Environment launched the European Declaration on Paper Recycling 2011-2015 at the European Paper Recycling Awards in the European Parliament.

The European Declaration on Paper Recycling sets out measures to optimise the management of paper throughout the value chain from paper and board manufacturing, converting and printing through to the collection, sorting, transportation and recycling of used paper and board products back into the paper loop.

All 12 Signatories and Supporters of this Declaration are willing to ensure that correct systems are in place to encourage paper recycling. They are building on the very positive progress made by the first European Declaration on Paper Recovery 2000 to 2005 and the European Declaration on Paper Recycling 2006 to 2010 (see Together these sectors will continue on a sustainable path in paper recycling, making it possible to reach the new target of a 70% recycling rate by 2015.

Signatories and Supporters of the Declaration accept voluntarily to undertake a number of complementary actions contributing to this target wherever technically possible and economically reasonable. Priority is given to the prevention of waste including its environmental impact during the manufacture of paper and board products, through collection and recycling of paper. Close attention is also being paid to improving the recyclability and - where applicable - the deinkability of paper-based products.

In his introductory statement for the European Declaration on Paper Recycling Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for the Environment, states: “the Declaration is fully in line with the European objective to build a "circular economy" aiming at using waste as resource. I am therefore happy to support the approach taken by the sector and to wish a long and successful life to this Declaration!”.

ERPC chairman, Ulrich Höke adds: “Paper is already one of the best managed raw materials, boasting high recovery and recycling rates. Even so, the industry commits to continuously improve. We suggest, instead of simply “shrinking consumption”, making paper consumption more sustainable, preserving the valuable contribution of the value chain to green growth and job creation in Europe.”

The Declaration is open to other European associations, whose members are involved directly or indirectly in the paper value chain. Representatives of the EU Institutions will be invited to attend the ERPC gatherings as Observers.

The progress of the Declaration will be reported annually by the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC).

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