Move toward EU paper recycling deal denied

Commission official stresses continued interest in setting mandatory recycled content standards

Officials in the European Commission's environment directorate have denied moves towards an EU-level voluntary agreement on recycled content levels in paper products, following a report in yesterday's issue of ENDS Daily (ENDS Daily 8 December). The European paper makers' association Cepi, which opposes mandatory recycled content requirements, claimed that research had shown the idea would have negative economic and environmental consequences. Environmental NGO sources told ENDS Daily yesterday that the Commission would likely propose a voluntary agreement instead. However, Alexandre Paquot of the Commission's environment directorate denied this today. He stressed that the Commission had "no intention to propose any voluntary agreement," on recycled content of paper products, adding that EU environment commissioner Margot Wallström had identified several legal questions that needed solving before voluntary agreements could be signed on any subject. Mr Paquot acknowledged that Cepi had proposed a voluntary agreement on paper recycled content, but suggested that it was not satisfactory. His department had launched a study on possible mandatory minimum recycled content in some paper applications, he added.

Follow Up:
European Commission DG environment, tel: +32 2 299 1111.

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