European Paper Industry welcomes European Commission Communication on Raw Materials
Brussels, Belgium, Feb 2, 2011 - The European Paper Industry welcomes the Commission’s communication on raw materials, adopted today. Concrete actions are needed to address the increasingly critical supply of raw materials to European Industries. This includes the raw materials of the European Paper Industry: The push for renewable energies calls for a biomass supply policy across Europe, taking the use of wood as raw material as a priority. The massive exports of recovered paper collected in Europe to east Asian markets is a second reason why raw material policy is needed. The Commission communication rightfully addresses both issues.
However, CEPI points out that EU has to keep a clear focus while addressing intrinsically different markets of raw materials, energy and agricultural commodities
The European pulp and paper industry’s raw material base is in Europe. Because of their renewable nature they are much sought-after. A strategy for the sustainable supply of wood and biomass is therefore needed, including concrete measures for raw materials mobilisation from European primary and secondary sources. The promotion of the resource hierarchy principle, whereby raw materials are used first to deliver added value in products, would bring consistency in EU policies
“Facilitating access to raw materials that end up in subsidy-based, unsustainable business models does not make sense” said Teresa Presas, CEPI’s Managing Director. “Instead, the priority access should be for industries that use the resources efficiently and contribute to the EU 2020 competitiveness and climate change goals.”
The European Paper Industry has already achieved a record-high recycling rate with more than 70% in 2009. It is seeking for even higher levels, but to do so, policy support is needed. Therefore CEPI applauds the proposed actions to better implement and enforce existing waste legislation, in particular waste shipment controls and separate collection by 2015.
Highlighting the importance of looking at full value chains and full life-cycles, Teresa Presas said: “The European Industry must be put in a position to use the collected secondary materials, otherwise we spend money to see them exported to countries where the environmental standards are far from being met. Certifying recycling facilities for sound environmental management is an approach CEPI is happy to support”.