European countries are continuing to increase rates of paper collection and recycling, according to the latest figures from the Brussels-based Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). Statistics from all 15 EU countries, the Czech Republic, Norway and Switzerland, show a 6.9% - 2.2m tonnes - increase in paper recycling in 1997 compared with the previous year. Nearly every country reported an increase in recycling. But the rate of paper consumption across Europe also went up by 7.3% resulting in 48.9% recovery - defined as the amount of paper recovered compared with paper consumption - which is similar to 1996 (ENDS Daily 29 August 1997). "The stabilisation of the recovery rate during 1997 obviously also reflects the difficulty of increasing the recovery levels beyond a certain level," says CEPI. By far the largest market for recycled paper in 1997 was as case material, which accounted for 43.8%. Other packaging applications broadly used around a fifth of the recovered paper, while recycled newsprint used 16.2%.
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