Newsprint has been awarded the European Union’s Ecolabel status, after what one maker describes as “several years of consultation”.
Member states have adopted criteria for an EU Ecolabel on ‘newsprint paper’, based on new criteria which include production-related emissions to water and air, the use of energy and chemicals, and a requirement for newsprint include at least 70 per cent recycled material. The remaining virgin fibre must be covered by valid sustainable forest management and chain of custody certificates such as FSC or PEFC.
UPM, which produces newsprint at eight mills in Europe, says it has been a key player in negotiations to ensure that the EU Ecolabel could be made available to newsprint customers.
“The newsprint criteria give us an excellent opportunity to expand further our already impressive range of EU ecolabelled products,” says paper business group environmental director Päivi Rissanen. “Almost all UPM newsprint papers are expected to fulfill the strict criteria.”
EU Ecolabel criteria for printed paper products were approved in March this year and the final adaptation is expected in the autumn.
“The development of criteria for printed products now makes it possible for customers to fully utilise the logo in their own marketing. They can print the ‘EU flower’ on products such as magazines, books and newspapers which have been printed on EU Ecolabel awarded paper,” Rissanen says.
The criteria aim to promote the environmental efficiency of de-inkability and recyclability for printed paper products as well as prevention of risks to the environment and to human health related to the use of hazardous substances in printing. Levels which ensure that recognition is only given to printed paper products which have a low environmental impact.
UPM says its Hürth and Schwedt mills in Germany, Chapelle in France and Shotton in the UK are all producing paper from 100 per cent recovered paper. The company claims to be the leading newsprint producer in Europe and among the largest in the world.