Key Issues in the Paper Industry

Key issues in the Paper Industry - Industrial Strategy Brexit | Industrial Strategy

This section covers issues around Brexit and the new UK Industrial Strategy, including CPI position papers on varied related topics.

Key issues in the Paper Industry - Industrial Strategy Packaging & Food Contact

This section covers all aspects of paper-based packaging and issues relating to the use of paper and board in food contact application.

  • Industry Guideline and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)

    Paper and board is commonly used for food packaging and the industry takes the matter of food contact very seriously.  On behalf of the UK paper and board industry, CPI works closely with the Food Standards Agency and with CEPI (Confederation of European Paper Industries).

    The Industry Guideline for the compliance of paper and board materials and articles for food contact has undergone a first revision, specific aspects covered in this first revision are:

    • the publication of the new CEPI Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)

    • the coming into force of Commission Regulation on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food, (EC) No 10/2011)

    • the update of German Recommendation on paper and board for food contact (BfR Rec. XXXVI) ,and

    • the concerns over the presence of mineral oil hydrocarbons in food

    Paper manufacturing companies, representing around 50% of the European production of packaging grades, and 20 major converting companies covering a large share of the European paper-based packaging production implemented the Industry Guideline during 2010, the first year of its publication. Many other papermakers and converters are in the process of adopting it in their operations.

    Industry Guidelines:
    Industry Guideline for the Compliance of Paper & Board Materials and Articles for Food Contact
    Good Manufacturing Practice for the Manufacture of Paper and Board for Food Contact

  • Mineral Oils

    This topic has been under review for some years, led initially by the German draft Ordinance. The EU Commission has now drafted a Recommendation, encouraging action across Europe.

    On 16 January 2017, Commission Recommendation (EU) 2017/84 on the monitoring of mineral oil hydrocarbons in food and in materials and articles intended to come into contact with food, was published in the EU Official Journal. The situation is complicated and there are some questions still to be resolved over the validity of test methods.

    Position Papers:
    Mineral Oils and Food Contact Paper Packaging

    Members Briefings:
    Mineral Oils in Recycled Paper Packaging

  • Printing Inks

    Germany notified the European Commission on 5th July 2016, indicating their intention to proceed with national legislation in this area. An immediate ‘standstill’ period came into force to allow for Member States’ comments before 6th October.

    The UK authorities submitted a ‘detailed opinion’, which extends the standstill and requires the German authorities to make a suitable reply. A total of eight detailed opinions were submitted, two further Member States submitted comments.

    The EU Commission has now announced its intention to proceed with pan-European action
    on Printed Food Contact Materials to ambitious timescale, drafting the legislation during 2017 and proposing to publish in 2018. It is understood that this puts a hold on the German national action.

  • Fluorinated Chemicals
  • Food Waste

    In modern western society we enjoy a very wide range of foodstuffs, many of which would previously have been ‘out of season’ and much of which has traveled a long distance. Packaging makes that possible.

    The energy used to make the packaging is just 10% of the total supply chain energy. Packaging is the “insurance” to make sure that the energy invested in producing, growing and processing food is protected. It also ensures that the additional energy used to get that food to us –in transport, retailing, shopping, storing and cooking – does not go to waste.

    Source: INCPEN

    The estimated amount of household food waste in the UK for 2015 was 7.3 million tonnes. Globally, it is estimated at 1.3 billion tonnes, up to 40% of total production.

    1) Source: “Household Food Waste in the UK, 2015” WRAP
    2) Source:

  • Coffee Cups
  • Carrier Bags

Key issues in the Paper Industry - Industrial Strategy Paper for Recyclng

This section covers all aspects of paper recycling, including legislation, collection methodologies, standards, quality issues and the paper recycling loop.

Key issues in the Paper Industry - Industrial Strategy Environmental Permitting | Labelling

This section covers regulatory issues around the operation of papermaking and conversion facilities, including Governmental policies seeking to improve the efficiency of resource use.

  • Permitting

    Member Briefings:
    Permits, BREF and BAT

    Reference Documents:
    Pulp and Paper BREF

  • Water/Water Abstraction

    As with many industries, water plays a big part in paper manufacture. It is critical to the papermaking process acting as a carrier for the fibres onto the paper machine. Whilst essential to paper manufacturing, the majority of the water is not consumed by the process but is ultimately returned to the environment. The vast majority of water used in the paper sector is abstracted from either groundwater (boreholes) or surface water (typically rivers but could be canals, lakes, or other water courses). The remainder being Mains water supply. Those mills abstracting have an abstraction license detailing annual, daily and in some cases hourly abstraction limits. Government is committed to reforming the abstraction regime to align abstraction with availability. CPI understands the need for abstraction licence reform in order to provide a robust system that is flexible and adaptable to a future where climate change is likely to impact in resource availability. A secure, continuous, consistent supply of freshwater is critical for long term investment in the paper sector. UK mills are primarily owned by European and Global companies. Lack of a secure water supply would drive investment elsewhere, for both expansion and new build. The UK is a net importer of paper with consumption more than double UK production. Such a barrier to investment is a barrier to redressing this overall balance. The paper sector uses a relatively large amount of water but consumes only a fraction of the abstracted volume. Any regulatory system should recognise the return of abstracted water to the environment, thus making it available as a resource for others.

    CPI continues to work closely with Defra, Environment Agency and NRW as the Abstraction Plan is developed.

  • Landspreading
  • Environmental Footprint

    A family of footprint indicators looking at the impact of products or services through their life cycle. Carbon Footprint looks at the total emissions of a product, operation or service expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent. Water footprint is the amount of water used, directly and indirectly through the lifecycle. Environmental Footprint covers resource use and emissions to give an overall indictor, currently being developed for products (PEF).

    ISO Standards exist for calculating Water and Carbon Footprints along with other standards developed by expert bodies such as the Water Footprint Network and the European Commission.


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