Ensuring the monitoring of recycling rates for paper and board products



by Massimo Medugno, general manager Assocarta

In 2019, 72% of all paper consumed in Europe was recycled. The collection of paper for recycling has decreased by 2.5% compared to 2018 and reached 57.5 million tonnes. Infact Paper consumption has decreased more strongly compared to 2018 and reached 79.8 million tonnes. The recycling rate therefore increased from 71.7% in 2018 to 72% in 2019. The European Commission supported by the Member States has published in the 2019 secondary legislation establishing the detailed rules for the calculation data for verifying compliance with the recycling targets set in the revised Waste Directive and revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. The recycling of paper and board strongly contributes to the attainment of these targets. The Waste Directive 851/2018 and the related Decision 665/2019 have established the following principles. First of all to ensure the reliability of data, it is important to lay down more precisely the rules according to which Member States should report what is effectively recycled and can be counted towards the attainment of the targets; The second point is the calculation of the recycling targets. It should be based on the weight of municipal waste which enters recycling. As a general rule, the actual measurement of the weight of municipal waste counted as recycled should be at the point where municipal waste enters the recycling operation; At the end to limit administrative burdens, Member States should, under strict conditions and by way of derogation from the general rule, be allowed to establish the weight of municipal waste recycled on the basis of measuring the output of any sorting operation. The paper Industry strongly believes that the setting of the calculation and measurement rules is of utmost importance in order to ensure consistency between Member States and material sectors. Instead the CEPI (european confederation of the paper industries) supports that the calculation point should be set at the reception of paper and board for recycling at the paper mill. At this point the material will enter the pulping operation where a physical transformation of the material will take place. During the delivery, they are checked for their compliance with the standard, which is also including provisions on the moisture content. Loads rejected here are not paid and cannot be reported, including for statistical purposes. Many Member States are implementing the Waste Directive 851/2018 and this regard CEPi supports the calcollation point is where the material will enter the pulping operation where a physical transformation of the material will take place. For technical reasons, transparency and respect are really the environmental target.


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