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Europe’s paper recycling rate reaches 72.5%

February 3, 2018  By P&PC Staff

Feb. 3, 2018 – On track to reaching its commitment of achieving a 74-per-cent paper recycling rate across Europe by 2020, the European Paper Recycling Council (EPRC) says its latest recycling rate is 72.5 per cent.

“We continue to make progress in elevating Europe’s recycling rate, but we must not remain complacent. A renewed focused on separate collection of paper for recycling is even more crucial to ensuring that Europe remains a global leader on paper recycling,” said Ulrich Leberle, secretary of the EPRC and Raw Materials Director at the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). “This is even truer as quality issues have become more apparent in other regions over the past year.”

This year’s report also exhibits positive results from a regional perspective with the number of countries with rates below 60 per cent dropping to nine, while 17 countries now have recycling rates exceeding 70 per cent.


“The monitoring report is an example of the value chain’s commitment to review and meet its promises. This year’s findings demonstrate that we are both serious about our product’s ecodesign and ensuring collected paper re-enters the paper recycling loop,” said Lisa Kretschmann, EPRC chairperson.

The EPRC was set up as an industry self-initiative in November 2000 to monitor progress towards meeting the paper recycling targets set out in the 2000 European Declaration on Paper Recycling. Since then the commitments in the Declaration are renewed every five years. In 2017, the EPRC committed to meeting and maintaining both a voluntary recycling rate target of 74 per cent in the EU27 plus Switzerland and Norway by 2020, as well as qualitative targets in areas such as waste prevention, ecodesign and research and development.

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