Sustainability and Circularity

The European paper industry has already delivered a successful decoupling of carbon emissions from economic growth while reducing carbon emissions by 29% from 2005 to date, having product volumes increased and proved the climate friendliness of its products thanks to certified raw materials and a world class performance in recycling.

The European paper industry is building on decades of work done to make its industrial model sustainable and circular, making it one of the most sustainable industries in Europe. It relies on raw materials, pulp derived from processing wood, which is intrinsically sustainable as it comes from sustainably managed forests; it has achieved a 27% decarbonisation from 2005 to date and it has become and anchor industry for industrial symbiosis, sharing materials, energy heat and water. One of our initiatives under sustainability is 4evergreen, the alliance to boost the contribution of fibre-based packaging in a circular and sustainable economy that minimises climate and environmental impact.

Paper is recycled at a rate of 71.9% (2018 data) in Europe, which is the highest recycling rate for paper in the world. Paper based packaging is even recycled at 84.6%. More paper based packaging is recycled than all other packaging materials combined. The paper industry thrives to further increase recycling and material use of recycling residues through the sharing of best practises and the development of cross-sectorial alliances.

For information on paper recycling, visit


CEPI promoting guidance on separate collection at RWM, UK

CEPI promoting guidance on separate collection at RWM, UK

PRESS RELEASE: Despite a challenging international context, European paper recycling resilient in 2017

EU’s new circular bioeconomy strategy – European forest fibre and paper industry ready to lead

Single-use plastics – paper industry shares MEPs’ perplexity on ill-defined “catch-all” product scope

PRESS RELEASE: CEN workshop Milan set to advance standardisation needs for European paper and board value chain

European Paper Recycling Council moves forward on ecodesign of printed paper products

European paper industry stands ready to defend Circular Economy in the context of Chinese waste import ban


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