Recovered paper will be classified as a product rather than waste in France in the future, provided that it meets specific criteria. There are diverging views in the industry on whether this step is reasonable. After all, recovered paper consumption within the country will rise in the coming years.
Is recovered paper waste or a product? This question has been the subject of frequent and lengthy discussion in Europe over the years. A proposal to classify recovered paper as a product at the EU level under certain conditions was rejected several years ago. Now France has joined a few other countries in taking this step at its own initiative.
In mid-December, the country published end-of-waste legislation in its Official Journal that puts an end to paper and cartonboard destined for recovery being classified as waste. However, certain requirements have to be put in place for recovered paper to exit the waste regime and gain product status.
One of the targets of the legislation is to guarantee good-quality recovered paper, so certain quality requirements have to be met. Recovered paper has to be consistent with a grade contained in the European list of standard grades EN 643, which already sets out certain quality characteristics, such as a maximum non-paper content of 1.5 per cent.
While Federec, the association of waste management companies, approves the new rules as they will make exports in Europe easier, the paper industry association Copacel criticises this step.
This article is an excerpt from our article on end-of-waste legislation in France. Read the whole article in EUWID Pulp and Paper no 3 which will be published on 19 January.
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