Submitted by: Laura Clarke January 5, 2022
The European paper industry fully supports the EU ambition of making Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and building a European circular economy. The carbon neutrality objective requires the European pulp and paper industry to become even more sustainable, efficient and innovative.
It demands that we continue on our transformational journey while maintaining our international competitiveness. Forest fibre and paper-based products offer alternatives to fossil-based ones which are coming from renewable sources, are recyclable, and contribute to trapping carbon pulled out of the atmosphere by trees. This supposes large investments in green technologies over the coming years, an area where forest fibre and paper producers are already ahead of other sectors of the EU’s manufacturing industry.
The pledge has been taken by the industry as a whole, covering diverse products and materials made in the sector. Cepi, as the organisation representing the industry at EU level, will also leverage its existing networks within users of paper and forest fibre products, including many major companies with a global footprint. This will ensure that the pledge gains enough traction and has a real impact on climate neutrality, resource efficiency, and circularity.
The new commitment is based upon three main pillars:
- The achievement of full circularity performance for paper-based products and packaging.
- The acceleration of innovation to replace fossil-based materials.
- Ensuring responsible sourcing for paper-based products and packaging.
In total, sixteen pledges are included across these pillars, four of which are quantitative. In particular:
The industry is pledging to have, by 2025, 80% of the wood, chips, and sawmilling by-products purchased by the industry originating from forest certified to be sustainably managed. The industry is committed to offering fibre-based solutions to the market to enable replacing at least 25% of current plastic packaging by 2025.
Current recycling champion, the industry is willing to raise the bar to meet 76% paper recycling and 90% fibre-based packaging recycling rates by 2030. Adopt design guidelines for 100% paper-based products and packaging to be recyclable by 2025, and reusable in case it is useful and possible.
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