line decor
line decor

recovered paper & packaging

With the rapid rise in the level of paper and cardboard recovered from the UK waste stream for recycling over the last decade there has been some difficulties with maintaining the quality for efficient reprocessing. This is particularly acute where tonnage based targets have been introduced as a means of measuring success such as for Local Authorities and packaging waste producers. Recovered paper quality is key for a number of reasons:

  • It means the best sales value of the material is retained;
  • It gives the greatest amount of carbon savings when being reprocessed into new paper and cardboard products;
  • It means it can be exported for recycling with the minimum of control.

For further information, follow the links below

Quality recovered paper can be shipped following the simplest export requirements under the “green list” categorisation as it is deemed non hazardous by Europe and most other world nations. However, the European and UK interpretation of “green list” recovered paper has raised issues with stakeholders, including exporters, as to the definition of “green list”.

In an attempt to alleviate some of these issues, CPI has developed an Export Code of Practice based on global paper mill standards for recovered paper as a raw material. This Export Code of Practice is designed to give assurance, to the Environment Agencies and Government, that the Recovered Paper Industry will self-regulate its outputs to ensure an economically viable product that meets global standards. The Code, which is based on the risk factors associated with typical Member collection techniques, is intended to ensure the output from Members’ depots is of a sufficient quality for direct use in paper mills, without the need for further sorting.

Although conformity to the Code does not constitute “green list” approval by the EU and UK Regulators, it goes a long way to show that those signed up to the Code have done everything in their power to ensure the material meets global paper mill standards.

For further information, follow the links below:


Through the Packaging Waste Directive, the European Commission has set binding recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste in Member states by 2008 and beyond. These targets relate both to overall packaging recovery and recycling levels, as well as to material specific targets.

The UK, through its own Packaging Waste Regulations, has put in place a market based system to ensure national compliance with the EC Directive. The Regulations require obligated packaging producers to buy evidence to show that a set amount of packaging,   proportionate to the amount they put onto the market, has been recycled from the UK waste stream. This proportion is set so as to meet the Directive’s recovery and recycling targets.

UK Paper packaging recycling hit 80% in 2009, eclipsing the EU Directive requirement of 60%.
This performance marks out paper as a successful medium for sustainability and residual waste reduction.  CPI calls on government to look seriously at removing paper packaging from the regulations, thereby reducing the administrative burden on an industry that has already exceeded its targets. The removal of a material that has shown an exceptional performance will also be in line with governments “better regulation” policy and allow the regulators to concentrate on those materials struggling to meet their targets.

Further information can be found at:

In this fast moving world of consumerism it is important that the products made from recovered materials perform and give the same performance criteria as those made from primary (virgin) materials. To this end ERPA (European Recovered Paper Association), CEPI (Confederation of European Paper Industries) and FEFCO (European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers), our European trade associations, have released a number of “guidelines for responsible sourcing and supply of recovered paper”. These documents are aimed at cementing best practice during the collection and reprocessing of recovered paper to meet increasing demands from end users, particularly with regard to food contact materials.

Further information can be found at:


......© Confederation of Paper Industries, 1 Rivenhall Road, Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 7BD