Assocarta, the Italian Association of Paper, Cardboard and Pulp Industries, and Cepi, the European Confederation of the Paper Industry, sent a letter to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on 23 March containing the request of the Italian and European paper industry to be recognised as essential for guaranteeing the supply of everyday goods to European citizens. This recognition is essential in order to benefit from state aid and preferential gas supplies.
In the current geo-political context, the dependence of European countries on Russian gas, which has risen sharply in price, is forcing many paper mills across Europe to suspend production or introduce temporary shutdowns. «If we add the increase in raw material prices and other production variables to the energy price rises» says Lorenzo Poli, President of Assocarta «we run the strong risk of stopping a European industry that employs 4 million people and is essential to the needs of all citizens, including the victims of the current conflict».
Finally, in order to break free from dependence on Russian gas and oil imports as raw materials for manufacturing companies, any action plan should be supported by adequate national and European resources. In this perspective, wood-based materials represent a strategic resource that many economic sectors have started to use as substitutes and which are already available on the market. For this reason, pulp and paper recycling are essential raw materials for the paper industry as well as a green alternative to fossil-based materials.