While the region is already global champion in the sector with a rate of 55.4%- higher than either Asia or America- the new European Declaration on Paper Recycling aims to attain a rate of 66% by 2010.
A total of 46.6 million tonnes of paper and board were recycled in Europe in 2005 and more than half of the paper used in the region is now made from recovered paper.
And while recycling the material forms a significant part of the paper manufacturing process in Europe, it is also a large industry in its own right, with links to a number of sectors in the global economy.
Now 12 different European sectors have joined forces, pledging their support for the new declaration that covers all paper and board products and aims to make sure all of the correct systems are in place to push the European paper recycling rate even higher.
European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) president Dr Kevin Bradley said: Paper and board already boast the highest recovery and recycling rates of materials in Europe. Even so, we are striving to do better. The sectors involved in this declaration have committed themselves to closer cooperation and complementary actions that will help us reach our target of 66%.
The industry also has an important role to play in helping Europe meet the European commissions goal of a recycling economy, supporting Europes sustainable development as
well as an assuring long-term, robust growth and employment.
The new initiative will build on the success of the original European Declaration on Paper Recovery that was launched in 2000 and was responsible for pushing Europes recycling rate to 55.4%.
Now even more European countries and organisations are covered with even greater ambition being shown.
Focus will be on complementary actions by all the sectors involved, with priority given to the prevention of waste, improving the recyclability of paper and board products, as well as further improving the quality of recovered paper available for recycling.
The ERPC will report its progress every September.