Representatives of the European paper value chain have committed to a 76% recycling rate by 2030.
Trade associations representing the different aspects of paper production, and different paper-based materials agreed to the pledge as part of the European Declaration on Paper Recycling 2021-2030.
In 2020, 73.9% of paper was recycled in Europe according to the European Paper Recycling Council (EPRC), but it says that recycling rates are levelling out and the theoretical limit of paper recycling is close to being reached. This is why the target only increases by 2.1% by 2030 from current recycling rates.
To reach this target, EPRC noted that there will need to be limits to the use of waste paper for energy recovery purposes, and ensuring that paper is collected separately to preserve the quality of the material.
The pledge was announced at the European Paper Recycling Awards.
EPRC chair Annick Carpentier said: “The projects or campaigns competing for the awards are all game changers in the way we recycle paper in Europe. They will contribute to achieving our ambitious goal of a 76% paper recycling rate by 2030.
“This is an ambitious target and every piece of paper and board bringing us closer to it counts.”