Logo : R4R Regions For Recycling

In France graphic paper recycling costs too much!


 Ecofolio, the French eco-organism for paper in charge of paper collection and recycling, has recently published a comparative survey about paper waste management practices in 6 European countries (Germany, UK, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, Spain).

 The survey provided by Bio Intelligence Service estimate the cost of managing graphic paper waste in France at 3.45 euro per capita per year, while it is in a range of 0,35 to 1.84 euro in the rest of Europe. In other terms it represents for the French local governments a cost of 111 Euro per tonnes while elsewhere in Europe it varies from a 15 euro cost per tonnes to a 59 euro profit per tonnes.



Three main factors are highlighted in the study to be responsible of the high cost of graphic paper recycling in France:

  • French local authorities bear internally the sorting costs while the local governments of the 6 European countries sell paper waste to be sorted.
  • The cost difference is even more pronounced as the collection is mainly organized through a mixed waste collection system resulting in complex and more expensive sorting operations.
  • The French waste collection system favours a high level citizen service using a door to door collection while other European countries focus more on voluntary action (for instance provision of paper to bring banks).

Paper collection and sorting methods are very diverse and have a wide dispersion of costs up to 500% difference:

  • 100 euro per tonnes voluntary collection in a separate flow;
  • 200 euro per tonnes through door-to-door collection;
  • 500 euro per tonnes through a mixed waste collection.  

These costs weigh on local taxation and paper producers are facing an increasing eco-contribution year by year (+23% between 2012 and 2013). However, despite the higher cost, France does not reach a better recycling performance. Only 47% of paper is recycled in France, against 75% in Germany.  

The R4R project aims in particular at identifying good practices at local and regional level that could help cities and regions to improve their collection and recycling performances. Some results should be show during the project’s midterm conference in Odense between 15 and 17 may 2013

Intereg IVC European Union
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