The European Paper Recycling Council (EPRC) was set up as an industry self-initiative in November 2000 to monitor progress towards meeting higher paper recycling targets.
Recycling has formed an increasingly important part of the paper manufacturing process, linking directly or indirectly to a large number of sectors in the European economy. The voluntary European Declaration of 2021 promoting paper recycling by setting concrete recycling targets aims to make a positive contribution to this process. The paper and board industry have always been supporters and partners to the European Commission, and are now also contributing to the EU Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan goals for a clear and more competitive Europe.
The industry has already increased recycling rates to high levels. However, different patterns in consumption, new technologies, and diversified applications of paper-based solutions make it challenging to maintain recycling rates, which are now starting to reach a theoretical maximum, with the European recycling rate reaching 73.9% in 2020. This Declaration suggests a 76% recycling rate as the new recycling target by 2030.