17 February 2009
Update on the recently launched voluntary Recovered Paper Identification System

Last autumn, the European organisations along the recovered paper supply chain, CEPI, ERPA and FEAD, launched a European Recovered Paper Identification System allowing recovered paper suppliers to register for a unique supplier code for marking their recovered paper bales. The Recovered Paper Identification System is a voluntary scheme which can be applied in bi-lateral agreements between buyers and sellers of recovered paper.

This standard offers the possibility to apply a harmonized bale identification system in bilateral contracts when supplying recovered paper bales throughout Europe. Every member in the recovered paper chain keeps track of its supplier whereby business confidentiality is ensured. Public authorities may be granted an access to the supplier codes to be able to trace the origin of recovered paper bales when necessary.


As the European RP Identification System has become available, several paper mills have followed the recommendation by the European organisations to make use of the voluntary European Recovered Paper Identification System and have started asking their suppliers to identify the recovered paper accordingly. In cases where systems for supplier identification already existed, paper mills have started to adapt their contracts with their suppliers in order to comply with the requirements of the harmonized European system. 


A first assessment of the data available to date shows that more than 500 recovered paper suppliers in Europe have already registered to the system. These represent a significant fraction of the volumes of recovered paper sent to paper mills. Recovered paper supplying companies owning several depots have used the option of registering their depots in the system. Public authorities have not yet started enquiring the origin of recovered paper bales with the help of the Identification System.


For more information, please see or contact

Jori Ringman, CEPI Recycling and Product Director at +32 2 627 49 19, +32 478 255070 (gsm),


Francis Veys, ERPA, Executive Director of ERPA c/o BIR at +32 627 57 70,


Nadine De Greef, FEAD, Secretary General at +32 2 732 32 13,


Note to the Editor

CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit making organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing this industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Its mission is to promote the member’s business sector by taking specific actions notably, by monitoring and analysing activities and initiatives in the areas of industry, environment, energy, forestry, recycling, fiscal policies and competitiveness in general. Through CEPI, the paper industry increases its visibility and acts on emerging issues, making expert and constructive contributions on behalf of the industry.

Its collective expertise provides a unique source of information both for and on the industry; coordinating essential exchanges of experience and knowledge among its members, the ability to provide technical assistance to legislators and to identify independent experts on specific issues.

Through its 18 member countries (16 European Union members plus Norway and Switzerland) CEPI represents some 800 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 1200 paper mills. Together they represent 27% of world production.



ERPA is the European Recovered Paper Association and a daughter federation of BIR.
Created in the early nineties under the name of WAPAC, ERPA aims at promoting the use and international trade of recovered paper for further production of recycled paper and cardboard. ERPA members are the national recovered paper federations of the different European Union countries.
Although the international federation BIR (and in this particular case, the BIR paper division) primarily deals with all matters relating to materials recovery and recycling at a world level, ERPA strictly focuses on European Union topics.

ERPA's main objectives are to study and examine all the commercial, legal, environmental and technical issues relating to the trade, recovery, process, recycling and transportation of "used" paper. In close cooperation with its European Union counterpart CEPI, ERPA has participated in the development of the European Union Recovered paper standard specifications and of the most recent European declaration on paper recovery.



FEAD is the European Federation representing the European waste management industry. Its members are national waste management associations, with an approximate 70% share in the household waste market and handling more than 75% of industrial and commercial waste in Europe (with a collective annual turnover of approximately € 50 billion).


FEAD has 22 members from 21 EU Member States and Norway. FEAD represents companies with activities in all forms of waste management. These companies employ over 350 000 people who operate around 2 000 recycling and sorting centres, 1 700 composting sites, 400 waste-to-energy plants and 2 200 controlled landfills and play an important role in the determination of the best environmental option for waste management problems.


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