26 September 2011
Innovative Projects in Paper Recycling Awarded

The event hosted by Eija-Riitta KORHOLA, MEP and Vice President of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, and Ulrich Höke, ERPC chairman, saw three winners receive their prize and those highly commended receive a certificate of recognition.

The winners are:

Technology Improvement & R&D category: ‘ProjectCLEAN’ by Palwaste Recycling and ‘New Possibilities for Process Control’ by PTS

ProjectCLEAN is a highly innovative project that was set up with one purpose in mind: to develop a recycling solution for an omnipresent waste stream that went unrecycled: so-called “plastic-aluminium laminates”. Stora Enso Barcelona and the engineering firm Alucha noticed the recycling problem of the laminates early on. In 2005 they set up a joint company “PALWaste Recycling” which launched ProjectCLEAN. Goal of the project: To use jointly developed technology and build and operate Europe’s 1st facility that can fully recycle beverage cartons.

The “New Possibilities for Process Control by NIR Monitoring of Recovered Paper” project used for the first time an online NIR measurement system to determine several important qualitative and quantitative parameters of recovered paper in a paper mill. Online measurements allowed the observation of the real changes in composition of recovered paper as it was not possible before. The measurements are done over the whole conveyor belt with a spatial resolution of 4 cm allowing to evaluate the complete recovered paper stream and not only random samples like other manual and visual methods.

The results of the research project can be used to bring about improved consistency and economy of the overall process in the deinking plant and ultimately enhanced product quality.

Information & Education category: ‘Be Part of Birmingham’s Paper Chain’, Smurfit Kappa

This project is the result of a close working partnership between Smurfit Kappa Recycling (SKR) and Birmingham City Council (BCC) since 1993 which operates on a rolling contract basis. Since the partnership between Smurfit Kappa Recycling and Birmingham City Council was first formed in 1993 the amount of paper recovered from the waste stream for recycling has increased from 750 tonnes to around 40,000 tonnes per year today.

The project is innovative because the partnership not only works on a day to day basis, but also works to provide information jointly to customers. The ‘Be part of Birmingham’s Paper Chain’ campaign was a partnership project between WRAP (Waste and Recycling Action Programme), BCC and SKR.

BCC reached the target recycling rate of 32% in 2010/11. Birmingham also collected 73.5 kg of paper per household compared to the average of 53.62 kg per household in other cities in the UK. Since October 2010, the Recycling Liaison Officer has visited 80 site schools and 27 community groups. This lead to increased recycling in these schools and 13 schools started to recycle for the first time.

In addition to these winners several projects were highly commended:


Technical Improvement & R&D category

  • Van Gansewinkel Group
  • Fujifilm Europe GmbH
  • Vertaris
  • Goma-Camps Group
  • Xerox Corporation.

Information & Education category

  • Antalis McNaughton Ltd
  • Deutsche Post DHL
  • Comieco
  • Green Press Partnership

“New Recycling activities and projects are started on a daily basis in Europe and the European Paper Recycling Awards acknowledge the best of them. At the same time it allows us to maintain a repository of good ideas that can be copied and adapted in other countries, companies or regions.” explained Ulrich Höke, Chairman of the ERPC.

“The entrants in this year’s competition show that there is a huge wealth of talent working in Europe to improve paper recycling and to bring us closer to a recycling society. We were very impressed by the quality of all the entrants and congratulate the winners on their achievements. We also hope that those who were not so lucky in this year’s competition will continue to develop their activities and promote paper as a wonderfully useful and sustainable product,” he concluded.

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