MEPs have vetoed a proposal for allowing collected paper to cease being considered a waste.
In the vote, MEPs rejected the proposals by 606 votes to 77 in favour with 10 abstentions.
They were concerned that if enacted, the law would have led to recovered paper being sold while containing more impurities than the relevant paper product standards require.
This could have meant that existing health and environmental protection safeguards under the Waste Shipment Regulations would no longer have applied as paper would have received end-of-waste status earlier in the recycling process.
MEPs argued that this measure would have a negative effect on paper recycling in the EU and risked undermining the viability of manufacturing quality paper from recycled materials in the EU.
Confederation of European Paper Industries director general Teresa Presas said: “We are glad to see the European Parliament remembered that the original purpose of the defining when something is no longer to be considered a waste was to facilitate recycling, not to obstruct it.
“If this proposal had become law, it would also have burdened the global environment with needless additional energy use and emissions. It’s a good decision.”
CEPI had campaigned against the proposed measure including a protest outside of the European Parliament building involving bales of recycled paper (pictured).