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Short Form: ECOPAPERLOOP
Full name: Eco design for the enhancement of central Europe paper based products recycling loop
Priority: Environment
Area of Intervention: 3.4 Supporting Environmentally Friendly Technologies and Activities
Duration: September 2012 – December 2014 (28 months)
Total budget:
ERDF contribution:
€ 1.971.406,00
€ 1.556.431,10
Partnership:

Innovhub – Stazioni Sperimentali per l‘industria (Lombardia, IT), Paper Technology Consulting GmbH (Baden-Württemberg, DE), Technical University of Darmstadt – Chair of Paper Technology (Baden-Württemberg, DE), Technical University of Dresden, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Wood and Paper Technologies, Chair of Paper Technology (Sachsen, DE), Pulp and Paper Institute Ljubljana (Slovenija, SI), University of Ljubjana (Slovenija, SI), University of West Hungary (Nyugat-Dunantul, HU), COBRO – Packaging Research Institute (Mazowieckie, PL), COMIECO, National Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Cellulose-based Packaging (Lombardia, IT), Lombardy Region (Lombardia, IT)

Lead partner: Innovhub-Stazioni Sperimentali per l’industria, Paper Research Division (Lombardia, IT)
Lead partner country: Italy

 

DESCRIPTION

ECOPAPERLOOP – Description
Paper is a natural biopolymer obtained from a renewable resource (wood). It is renewable, recyclable and, at the end of its life cycle, biodegradable. Paper recycling increases the material lifespan and is a key strategy that contributes to savings of primary raw material, reduction of energy and chemicals consumption, reduction of the impact on fresh water and improvement of waste management strategies. In central Europe, recovered paper is a major resource (secondary raw material), however, the paper recycling rate is still highly inhomogeneous. Since recovered paper is not only recycled in the country where it is produced, some essential features such as eco-design and eco-collection concepts must be developed at transnational level to increase the sustainability of the paper loop.

The project ECOPaperLOOP identified needs of the regions related to the recycled paper, whereas a clear picture on participating region’s status; a greater awareness in the private and public sectors about recyclability issues as well as shared and collective knowledge base on available technologies and practices will be tackled. EcoPaperLoop project will address these issues developing new joint activities between highly oriented paper recycling regions (e.g. Germany and Northern Italy) and other Central Europe regions where recycling rate and recycling oriented eco-design needs significant improvements.

OBJECTIVES

ECOPAPERLOOP – Objectives
The project ECOPaperLOOP aims at

· creating advanced know-how on paper-based product recyclability in central Europe;

· establishing new capabilities for the diffusion and application of paper recyclability assessment;

· fostering innovation in the environmental sector through the adoption of better solutions for the recyclability of paper products;

· increasing the awareness of stakeholders and decision makers of the private and public sector on paper recycling.

EXPECTED OUTPUTS

ECOPAPERLOOP – Expected Result
The consortium will implement, among others, activities leading to the establishment of a knowledge repository on the recyclability of paper-based products. As a result new knowledge and awareness on paper-based product recyclability will be created.

Other results include that:

· new capabilities for the diffusion and application of paper recyclability assessment will be established;

· innovation in the environmental sector through the adoption of better solutions for the recyclability of paper products will be fostered;

· territorial cohesion between lead knowledge providers and decision makers in the regions will be strengthened; and

· awareness of stakeholders and decision makers of the private and public sectors will be raised to extend product life cycles thus contributing to a durable change towards more environmentally sound production processes and consumer behaviour.

ACTIVITIES

ECOPAPERLOOP – Activities
Summary of activities:
The CENTRAL EUROPE project EcoPaperLoop aims to raising awareness and providing tools to enhance the recyclability of paper products as well as the collection of paper and board for recycling in the Central Europe region. This is to secure good quality raw material for the paper industry and reduce environmental impact. The project period is September 2012 to December 2014. From March 2013 until August 2013, one important block of activities was to inform stakeholders of the paper value chain about the project and its targets at national level. The first project newsletter was translated and disseminated in each country mostly by email and project partners’ websites. One national seminars was organised in Slovenia on packaging waste management, five presentations at public events were carried out in Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Poland and Germany.
The partners have developed a new method to test the recyclability of paper based packaging, the method was tested in four laboratories and it is currently under statistical validation. Partners are collecting samples from companies that will be tested in the next phase. Along this line partners are also developing contacts with companies promoting recycling friendly eco-design to perform life cycle analysis studies thus verifying the sustainability of different product design. Furthermore partners have developed two questionnaires to address stakeholders of the paper value chain regarding paper collection systems and legislation aspects concerning paper for recycling issues. Those have been translated and distributed at national levels as well as published for on-line public consultation. These questionnaire will bring insights on the current quality of the paper for recycling in the CE region and how the waste management systems answer the needs of the recycling industry.