EPN Co-ordinated a Successful Day of Action on Throwaway Cups and Launch of the Cupifesto

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Last week saw a flurry of activity around the world with many EPN member organisations challenging throwaway cups. The launch of our Cupifesto – a manifesto for a world without throwaway cups –  was fun and attracted significant attention (see this article in The Guardian, for example).

In Australia, ‘cup conscious cafes’ were signing up to the Cupifesto. In China, lots of local organisations promoted reusable and often very beautiful tea vessels. In Germany there were challenges to fast drinks retailers who only give their customers a throwaway option, and there were also celebrations of reusable cups ranging from traditional ceramic coffee mugs to modern plastic keep-cups. In the USA activists were out on the street highlighting the huge problem of unrecyclable cups. In the UK intensive discussion raged about discounts for customers who bring their own cups and taxes on those who don’t. And all around the world, people blogged, tweeted, facebooked and just chatted about throwaway cups.

One of the interesting results of all this discussion is a poll run by Packaging Newsthe packaging industry magazine, asking if a tax on throwaway cups is a good idea. At the time of writing (5 October, day 3 of the poll), two-thirds of respondents are in favour of a cup tax: 40% say ‘Yes – we drastically need to reduce takeaway cups’ and a further 26% say ‘Yes, but the money raised should be invested in recycling infrastructure’. Only a minority of respondents, even in the packaging industry, think that throwaway cups are not a problem.

It’s clearly time for more leadership to move us towards a future where our daily tea and coffee does not cost the earth. Watch this space as we continue to work together to promote the Cupifesto – a manifesto for a world without throwaway cups.

CALL FOR PROJECTS: Reducing wasteful paper consumption

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WWF Forests for Life Programme seed-funds projects reducing wasteful paper consumption

Forests will come under pressure like never before in the coming decades to meet the demands of a growing population.[1] Reducing wasteful consumption will be key to ensure that the Earth’s resources are not depleted. It is, therefore, an integral aspect of the WWF Forests for Life programme’s work and at the heart of EEPN. We know that the challenges are vast, which is why finding synergies and working together as NGOs and civil society organisations is of essence. With this letter we approach the Environmental Paper Networks around the world with a seed funding proposal for projects on stopping wasteful paper consumption.

In 2015/2016 the WWF Forests for Life programme will seed-fund 2-3 NGO projects in identified priority countries that show effective strategies and steps towards reducing wasteful paper consumption. Priority will be given to projects with a multiplier effect and chances for continuation beyond the seed-funding phase.

We look for submissions of projects for the following identified priority countries:

  • Projects that reduce wasteful paper consumption in countries with high per capita consumption and significant overall paper consumption rates: United States; Japan; Canada; Germany, UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain
  • Projects that encourage sustainable paper use growth strategies (promoting highly valuable paper uses but warning against wasteful paper uses) in countries with low per capita paper use, however with high overall paper use and significant growth rates: China, Poland

Max. funding per project: 5000 Euro

Timeframe of the project: October 2015 to June 2016

Format: Maximum 1 page description and a budget.

Deadline for submitting the proposals: 20th of September 2015

Download pdf for full details here.

Discussion continues on paper vapour – the carbon footprint of paper

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In July 2013, the EEPN published a commissioned discussion paper analysing the carbon footprint of the full lifecycle of paper. It can be found here. There is still time to comment on this paper, and feedback is welcome on it until 31 August 2013.

The paper indicates that if the full impacts of production, use and disposal are taken into account, paper is potentially responsible for more carbon emissions than global aviation. We call these emissions ‘paper vapour’. The EEPN is encouraging comment and discussion on this issue. Please send comments to papervapour@environmentalpaper.org

You can find out more about paper vapour here.

New publication: paper efficiency scorecard

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On 9 July 2013, the EEPN has published the results of our assessment of 60 UK organisations’ paper efficiency (media release below).  Read the results in our Paper Efficiency Scorecard.

New scorecard reveals need for action on paper efficiency

NGOs challenge all sectors to improve paper efficiency to reduce carbon footprint

A Paper Efficiency Scorecard (1), published by the European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) (2) at its ‘Paper Vapour’ event in London today, shows that whilst some UK organisations are making commendable efforts to use paper more efficiently, most of those surveyed need to do much more to address wasteful paper use. New analysis (3), commissioned by the EEPN, of the data available on the carbon footprint of paper, also published today, found that paper contributes more to climate change than previously thought and potentially more than global aviation. The EEPN calls these emissions ‘paper vapour’. It is challenging all sectors to value paper more highly as a resource and to reduce their paper consumption and suggests that particular attention is given to wasteful uses of paper such as ‘throw away’ and ‘disposable’ products, in order to reduce their significant climate impact. Co-ordinator of the EEPN and its ‘Shrink Paper’ project, Mandy Haggith, said: “We all know flying causes significant climate impacts, yet this latest analysis finds that paper’s footprint is actually larger.It has such a significant carbon footprint that paper efficiency should be a central part of any organisation’s climate change policies and action plans.” The Paper Efficiency Scorecard ranks the paper efficiency efforts of 60 of the UK’s largest organisations. It found that some organisations, most notably Marks and Spencer, the Scottish Parliament,The Co-operative Group, Sainsbury’s, the Welsh Government and the Highland Council, have made commendable efforts to improve their paper efficiency. However, many others are not yet addressing how to cut their paper use. The two worst performing sectors were catalogue retailers and utilities. “We applaud those high-flying organisations that are making a genuine effort to use paper more wisely and hope that those in which the concept is yet to hatch will now grasp the full benefits of paper efficiency. By reducing wasteful paper use, organisations around the world can significantly reduce their carbon footprints, as well as their financial costs,” said Haggith. Notes to Editors:

(1) For the Paper Efficiency Scorecard, see http://www.environmentalpaper.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/paper-efficiency-scorecard-final.pdf

(2) The European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) is a coalition of 70 non-governmental organisations. For a list of member organisations see: http://www.environmentalpaper.eu/our-network/our-member-organisations/

(3) For the discussion paper ‘Paper Vapour: the Climate Impact of the Paper Industry’ see http://www.environmentalpaper.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/paper-vapour-discussion-paper-c.pdf

Contact: Mandy Haggith, Co-ordinator of the EEPN and its ‘Shrink Paper’ project on 07734235 704 Matilda Bradshaw, Communications Manager, ‘Shrink Paper’ project on 07775828634

Paper Vapour event

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On Tuesday 9 July 2013, the European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) launched the results of our assessment of the paper efficiency efforts by 60 UK organisations – here.

We also launched a discussion paper about ‘paper vapour’, the climate change impacts of paper production, use and disposal – here.

These publication launches coincide with an EEPN event, held in London, to clarify why paper efficiency needs to be part of every large organisation’s climate change strategy.

Paper Vapour: highlighting the link between paper and climate change

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It is a little appreciated fact that paper contributes even more to global carbon emissions than aviation. We call these emissions Paper Vapour.

An event in London on 9 July 2013 will highlight the important link between climate change and paper production, use and disposal. The European Environmental Paper Network is hosting the seminar, which will bring together experts on the carbon footprint of paper and life cycle analysis and people from UK organisations who have been taking practical steps to increase paper efficiency, thus driving down their carbon emissions.

The open invitation to the event, with a link for registration, is here.

Find out more about Paper Vapour.

Paper Efficiency Project ‘PEP’ talk on Packaging

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Our second paper efficiency project webinar, or ‘PEP talk’, is on Wednesday 5 June  2013, at 3pm. If you’d like to register,  contact us. If you missed it you can see it online or download the slides here. There is an accompanying webpage with some signposts to useful resources here. Why not check out our other paper efficiency tools?

Overview

Almost half of Europe’s paper use is accounted for by packaging. While packaging has many useful functions (protection, hygiene, branding, customer information) this utility is often very short-lived. There are therefore great opportunities for increasing efficiency, achieving the same functions with lighter weight and smaller boxes.

This Paper Efficiency Project (PEP) talk will help you to understand the scale of the impacts of packaging use, and some very practical ways to reduce these impacts. It will also challenge the idea that reductions in packaging reduce the opportunities for brand messaging and consumer information. A case study will be presented by the Packaging and Print Technology Manager for Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s major supermarket chains.

Our research into case studies shows that paper efficiency can lead to increased sales, more customer satisfaction and fewer product breakages, as well as environmental benefits – it’s all about  smart packaging design. To find out more, why not attend our Paper Efficiency Project (PEP) talk on packaging? This is a live online webinar on Wednesday 5 June 2013, 4pm GMT.   If you missed it and would like to watch it or download the slides, please follow this link.

Paper Efficiency Project ‘PEP’ talk on Paper versus Digital

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Our second paper efficiency project webinar, or ‘PEP talk’, was held on Wednesday 8 May 2013, at 3pm. If you missed it you can see it online or download the slides here. There is an accompanying webpage with some signposts to useful resources here. Why not check out our other paper efficiency tools?

Overview

To reduce the environmental and social impacts and financial costs of paper, many organisations are looking at digital delivery of information. A huge range of paper applications can be replaced by digital alternatives: online newspapers and magazines, ebooks, electronic billing, web banner advertising, digital photography, PDF report downloads and of course emails and computer-based filing systems. But how do the environmental impacts of paper and digital alternatives compare? Is digital greener than paper or does a shift online just displace your footprint, rather than reducing it?

This 40 minute webinar explores comparisons between the impacts of paper and digital applications, review some of the lifecycle studies that have looked at this issue and examine some case studies. We draw some conclusions – including how carbon footprints are less for digital than paper – and offer some signposts.

This Paper Efficiency Project (PEP) talk aims to help you work out how to compare the footprints of your organisation’s choices to print or to work online and to help you to take a systematic approach to identifying the different opportunities that digital and paper media present and offer some signposts for assessing the impacts, particularly the carbon footprint, of the different alternatives.

It includes a recent case study by Penguin Books, presented by Meredith Walsh, which demonstrates what needs to be taken into account in comparing the environmental impacts of paper versus digital applications and an introduction to a method for assessing the carbon footprint of digital alternatives to printed paper products, by Michael Sturges, consultant with Innventia.

To find out more about the paper versus digital debate, see here.