The Conference of the IMPACTPapeRec Project brought together more than 50 professionals from all over Europe in Barcelona, to discuss ways to increase the selective collection of paper in the European Union, key in Europe's transition towards a Circular Economy.
IMPACTPapeRec embraced the paper value chain for the first time in a joint project with the dual objective of promoting the selective collection of “Recycling Paper” (used paper and cardboard selectively collected and pre-processed) and avoiding landfilling and incineration.
In the last year, the partners of the project, coordinated by the Technological Institute of Packaging, Transport and Logistics (ITENE), have exchanged experiences with decision-makers regarding the role of seven municipalities, from the UK to Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and France, and mapped out the current waste management systems in Europe.
Experts discussed the importance of paper quality for recycling, the efficiency of payment systems and incentives to encourage recycling, as well as the sensitive issue of collecting paper outside of officially established waste management systems.
"Paper collection is a multidimensional issue and it is not possible to find an independent solution," said Antonio Dobón, ITENE's head of Sustainability and IMPACTPapeRec coordinator. "We are confident that the project will help us find the right way to promote paper collection wherever possible."
The project will conclude in January 2018 with a Final Conference to be held in Brussels. Until then, the 19 partners will continue to develop the results of the project: Some of the good practices identified will be selected, which will lead to the publication of an on-line informative “manual”, a practical guide to help municipalities achieve better rates collection.