The latest Monitoring report of the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) shows that Europe has achieved a world record level of paper recycling in 2009. The rate reached 72.2% which is again higher than the target set in its Commitment for 2010 of 66%. The total amount recycled in paper mills came to 58 million tonnes in 2009. “The economic recession continued in 2009 and made the paper consumption drop to the level of 1998. This, together with industry’s continued effort to increase recycling made, for the second year in a row, the recycling rate jump up, resulting in a record high 72.2%.” explained Jori Ringman, Secretary of the ERPC. The recycling rate is the ratio between the recycling & the consumption of paper. A swing in the opposite direction may occur when the economy recovers as recycling may not be able to immediately match up to the reviving paper consumption; the recycling rate is likely to drop, temporarily. In 2010 the recycling rate is estimated to be under 70%, closer to the original target of 66% (±1.5%-points). Since 1998, the base year of the first voluntary commitment, the paper industry has increased the annual paper recycling by 45%, growing from less than 40 million tonnes of paper recycled annually to 58 million tonnes last year.