Currently, the production of paper and board in the EU stands at 91 million tonnes per year. In 2015, consumption of paper and board stood at 82.5 million tonnes. 71.5% of all paper consumed in Europe was recycled, totaling of 59 million tonnes which were collected from households, commerces, industry and offices. The paper recycling rate is therefore 71.5%. The contribution of PfR to the raw material mix of the European paper industry has increased over the last few years from 25 million tonnes in 1991 to 47,7 million tonnes in 2015.
However, this increase in the availability of Paper for Recycling (PfR) has not taken place in all EU states, and this is especially true in Central and Eastern European countries. Moreover, the quality of the collected material does not always meet the requirements of paper recycling. Without additional measures, these two facts will make it difficult to keep up with the increases the collection of PfR observed over the last few years.
The project therefore focuses on countries where paper and board still largely ends up in residual waste or where the predominant collection scheme is commingled (i.e. paper is separated from residual waste but is collected mixed with other recyclables such as metals and plastics). These focus countries are Bulgaria, Poland and Romania from the first category and France and the UK from the second.
Read more about the project here.