ACTION T1: International survey: wood and rubber recycling and recovery practices and legislation

The activities in Action 1 started with the search of existing definitions and classification of recovered wood and rubber according to EU Legislation and Standards, literature, relevant ongoing or finished projects and industrial supply practice. A comparison between the different classification systems according to standards and industrial supply practice was performed and finally definitions and classification of recovered wood and rubber were adopted within the WoodRub project. Then, Action 1 partners searched for information on existing knowledge and technologies on wood and rubber recovering. More specifically for recovered wood, the wood recovering process was presented in terms of management of waste wood, recovery of wood products, recovery chain in wood-based panel production facilities and products. The present situation in Europe regarding the current use and additional potential supply of recovered wood in each country as well as the waste flows for waste wood in Europe was also given. For recovered rubber, the recovering process was described referring to a brief history of rubber, to management systems for collecting and recovering end-of-life tyres, to properties of rubber, to recovery of rubber materials (physical, chemical and thermal) and to future directions. The present situation in Europe regarding the tyre accumulation by each country and estimates of post-consumer tyre routes were also given (Task 1.1).

In order to present essential information regarding the significance/limitations of recovered wood and rubber raw materials in the industry, questionnaire campaigns were organised for the European industry using raw materials from recycled wood and rubber. Due to a very poor response by the companies, mainly for competition reasons, the consortium employed the contingency plan as described in detail in the Document of Work. Therefore, the actual situation of recovered wood and rubber sectors in Europe based on qualitative and quantitative data were gathered. Reliable data were obtained by the European Panel Federation (EPF) and by the European Tyre Recycling Association (ETRA) for the wood and rubber sector, respectively (new Task 1.2).
According to the contingency plan, Action 1 partners worked on the new Task 1.3 with aim to identify and describe realistic future scenarios for the European wood and rubber sectors. The descriptions had to be based on items originally planned to work with through the questionnaires (e.g. legislation, raw materials availability, prices, competitive sectors and their prospects, regional differences, innovation in manufacturing processes, contamination of raw materials, etc.). The consortium cooperated closely with the European wood and rubber Associations (EPF, ETRA) for the identification of realistic relevant scenarios for the sectors and for the best possible description of every item/ scenario. The discussions with EPF and ETRA led to the identification of 6 realistic scenarios with the following hierarchical order of significance: (1) Competitive sectors and their prospects (2) Legislation (3) Raw materials availability and quality (4) Prices (5) Innovation in manufacturing processes (6) Markets. For the descriptions, the latest reports, documents, publications, legislation and data at European and global level were used.

Starting from March 2013 and till the end of the project, Action 1 will evaluate the effects of the realistic future scenarios for the European wood and rubber sectors on their competitiveness (new Task 1.4).