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November 2006

Europe’s most ambitious paper recycling target launched
Is 66% by 2010 plausible?

Europe is already the global leader in paper recycling with a regional rate of 55.4%, higher than either Asia or America, but the industries along the paper value chain raised the bar with the launch of the ‘European Declaration on Paper Recycling’ and an ambitious new target.

A total of 46.6 million tons of paper and board were recycled in Europe in 2005 and more than half of the paper used in Europe today is now made from recovered paper. Recycling is a significant part of the paper manufacturing process in Europe but also a large industry in its own right, with links to a number of sectors in the global economy. The European sectors have now joined forces with the common goal of further increasing Europe’s recycling rate to 66% by 2010.

The new target would mean that some two tons of paper is recycled in Europe every second.

Twelve different sectors in the paper value chain have pledged their support for the Declaration covering all paper and board products and aims to make sure that all of the correct systems are in place to push the European paper recycling rate even higher. The Declaration focuses on complementary actions by all of the sectors involved, and gives priority to the prevention of waste, improving the recyclability of paper and board products, as well as improving the quality of recovered paper available for recycling.

The progress of the Declaration will be reported annually, in September, by the European Recovered Paper Council.

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