Opportunities for productising waste to improve in the future

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The new Waste Directive will lead to a considerable improvement in the forest industry’s opportunities to productise wastes and by-products.The licensing procedure for wastes places obstacles to their utilisation, but it will no longer be applied to by-products, which can instead be reclassified as products. By-products will not be considered waste at any stage and they will be subject to product-related demands, such as the REACH requirements.

In addition, the new Waste Directive includes a procedure for determining when a waste ceases to be a waste. So-called end-of-waste criteria will be drafted for certain waste fractions and they will determine how a waste material can become a recycled product. Under the Directive, the first phase of this process will involve the drafting of criteria for, inter alia, recovered paper.

Member States must implement the Waste Directive within two years. In Finland, this will be carried out in conjunction with a full revision of the Waste Act.

Forest industry one of the best utilisers of wastes in the manufacturing sector

 By-products and wastes are valuable raw materials. The forest industry utilises, for example, 86% of the fibre and coating sludge it produces, 96% of the sludge recovered at wastewater treatment facilities and 86% of the deinking waste created in the processing of recovered paper. These are then reused as either energy sources or materials.

The forest industry also strives to improve the material efficiency of its processes. The aim is to manufacture more products with fewer resources. The industry has managed to constantly reduce the amount of landfill waste created; relative to production, the amount has reduced by 85% from 1992.

Further information:
Fredrik Blomfelt, Senior Adviser (Environment),
Finnish Forest Industries Federation,
tel. +358 (0)9 132 6640 or +358 (0)40 705 7389

Hilkka Hännikäinen, Director (Environment),
Finnish Forest Industries Federation,
tel. +358 (0)9 132 6644 or +358 (0)40 502 8169