Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) believes the UK corrugated packaging Industry is already setting the standards for using raw materials from responsible resources but welcomes the new EU legislation (EU995/2010) that will come into effect on 3 March 2013 banning the sale of and products made from illegally harvested timber.
EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) is being introduced to halt the trade in materials or goods from illegal or controversial sources and to promote responsible forest management. The paper and board industry is renowned for sourcing its raw materials responsibly and has made a huge contribution to the increase in the size of Europe’s forests (30% since 1950).
The majority of corrugated packaging is manufactured from recycled material. Where virgin fibre is used it comes from sustainable forests, typically using fast-growing softwoods including pine and spruce which are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) accredited and three trees are planted for each one harvested.
Trees are typically harvested for furniture or construction and the paper industry uses the offcuts so even when corrugated uses virgin fibre it is often the by-product of another industry.
This commitment to protecting forests is backed by significant investment in advanced technology by corrugated companies to ensure that the manufacturing processes involved meet the most stringent requirements of environmental legislation.
“It is important that we have packaging that has the least harmful impact on the planet and we are ahead of the game when it comes to protecting timber resources,” comments CPI’s director of packaging affairs Andy Barnetson. “Corrugated packaging does not destroy forests and does not use tropical forest hardwoods.
“Our industry has always invested in recovery and recycling processes which have helped safeguard forests and the long-term availability of raw materials. The introduction of the EUTR will ensure the legality of timber in the marketplace, however, the manufacturing practices we have in place have helped to sustain Europe’s forests for decades”.
According to www.corrugated-ofcourse.eu, consumers in Europe are recognising the environmental benefits of using corrugated. A study revealed that 73% of German consumers who expressed an opinion regarded paper and corrugated as the most ecologically sensible packaging format.
CPI represents more than 90% of the UK corrugated packaging industry responsible for an aggregate turnover of around £1.2 billion, thousands of UK jobs and the best packaging recycling record in the country. The Industry is proud to use and promote a sustainable and renewable material, over 80% of which is recycled, saving an area the size of Greater London from landfill every four months.
Corrugated packaging protects around 75% of goods in transit and has led the way on issues such as lightweight packaging and space efficiency in stores and trucks which has resulted in fewer lorries on the road. This highly versatile material can be found in a huge variety of sectors including retail multiples, manufacturers and distributors; from heavy industrial components to the most fragile items.
The corrugated packaging industry uses a reusable material made from a renewable resource, proving that environmental concerns and economical packaging are not incompatible. Due to innovation and efficiency, bigger savings in packaging are not made at a cost to Europe’s forests which are increasing each year by an area the same size of 1.5 million football pitches.