The latest data from the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) has shown that the recycling rate for paper in Europe was 71.7 per cent in 2013.
This was up very slightly from 71 per cent in 2012 with the total amount of paper collected and recycled in the European paper sector staying stable at just over 57 million tonnes, despite decreasing paper consumption in Europe.
According to ERPC, the European paper recycling rate is starting to level out and keeping it at a high rate is becoming progressively more challenging with the quantity and consumption patterns of paper changing.
It warns that the sharp decline in newspaper consumption will significantly affect overall paper recycling levels, as newspapers are traditionally one of the best recycled paper products along with corrugated boxes.
Conversely, tissue and sanitary paper consumption is increasing, but cannot be accepted for recycling due to hygiene reasons. Overall, 21 per cent of paper consumption is not recyclable or collectable.
ERPC chair Beatrice Klose said: “Making recycling easy and simple year after year requires a huge effort by the paper value chain, and we are pleased to report the positive results.
“Despite challenging circumstances, paper recycling has continued to perform consistently well.”